Holiday gift guide for Teen drivers

The holidays are approaching FAST, and I am starting to think about who we buy gifts for. Since my oldest is turning 17 soon, a lot of her friends (and our friends’ children) are driving now. One of my daughter’s friends came over our house a few weeks ago, and while they were sitting in her car, chatting, the two lovely young ladies drained the battery. Well, it was 9 pm, and she didn’t have any jumper cables. Luckily, we do. BUT out of my entire 28 years driving, I had NEVER jumped a car.

I know.

Luckily we were home, and since my husband was working a wedding that night, I called him up, and learned how to do it from him. And more importantly, I taught the two teens.

Since that night, I have been thinking about how a lot of our friends’ kids are driving around, unprepared for emergencies. So I came up with this gift guide for Teen Drivers for this Holiday season, based on the reviews for each product (and price). Click on the titles under the images to be taken to the individual listing. *this post contains affiliate links*

Holiday Gift Guide for Teen Drivers

emergency kit

Stalwart 75-EMG1053 Red Emergency Roadside Kit with Travel Bag, 55 Piece: This one has a little bit of everything, and most importantly, jumper cables. It also comes in pink.

first aid kit

Small First Aid Kit 100 Piece: Car, Home, Survival:

This is their best seller, and I can see why. It has all the basics covered and is small enough for any size car.

 

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Car Safety Tool – Window Breaker Seatbelt Cutter with LED Flashlight and Credit Card Tool – Auto Emergency Car Escape Tool (Red): This is one of those all in one tools that I think every car should have. Be aware, though, from the reviews it says it is VERY SHARP. Keep away from little hands.

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Horizons Tec HT-747 Emergency NOAA Weather Radio. Solar & Hand Crank Powered, Mobile Cell Phone Charger & Led Flashlight. Paracord Survival Kit Bracelet Magnesium Flint Fire Starter Compass Whistle:

Oh this one makes my Mama heart happy. It is slightly pricier, but it has a cell phone charger (uh because I know my daughter is famous for leaving the house without hers charged) and other great supplies you would need in an emergency. Not only for a car, but great for power outages too. And it is solar powered. This one is definitely going in my cart for Christmas.

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Hopkins 532 Mallory 26″ Snow Brush with Foam Grip (Colors may vary):

We don’t need one on this side of the mountains, but I know a lot of you may. Simple, inexpensive way to ensure you teen can get the visibility they need after it snows.

 

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Torin T10152 Scissor Jack – 1.5 Ton: Most cars are equipped with a jack, but some people consider having a spare, especially in older used cars. Essential.

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Roadside Survival: Low-Tech Solutions to Automobile Breakdowns: This book is also going on my list. There are, sadly, a lot of things I don’t know, even as an experienced driver. I want our girl and her friends to be prepared.

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival:
Basic First Aid book. Always good to have around.

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Show Me How to Survive (Outdoor Life): The Handbook for the Modern Hero:
This one we have read, and I did a review here. I plan to get this for my daughter who took a liking to these books when we checked them out from our local library. Warning, though for younger readers, it does have some graphic images in it. Not just for drivers, but definitely an interesting book, cause you never know.

***

I hope you found my list helpful. I know you are now thinking of all the eye rolling and disappointed groans, and maybe even an unenthusiastic “thanks” when the teen in your life unwraps their own set of jumper cables. But they will appreciate it when they need it, and that is what counts. Besides, if I know one thing is that teens tend to surprise us when we least expect it. When I was compiling this list, The Bee was looking over my shoulder and exclaimed “Oooh can we get one for Christmas??” as she pointed to the car safety tool. She said that she has thought about how we would escape a car that has fallen in the water. Go figure.

There is another option, of course, of doing your own DIY kit with all the important supplies you want your teen to have. What I liked about these kits is, I don’t have to. Leaves more time to sew. Ha!

What is on YOUR gift list this year?

On-Our-Shelves Sunday: Magnus Chase

*affiliate links in the post*

I just finished the first book in this series, this week:

Magnus Chase book review

Magnus Chase

and the Gods of Asgard book one

by Rick Riordan

As you may know, I read all of the Percy Jackson books, and even the first Trials of Apollo book. This new (to me) series, though has got them all beat. I LOVED it. Firstly, I do have an affection for Asgardian gods (yes, I am talking to you, Thor), as well as Viking stories. I have no idea. Maybe I was Nordic in a past life. Whatever the reason, I love it. This story is funny, witty, and interesting with a fast paced plot, lots of action, and unique characters. And the main character looks like Kurt Cobain.

I cannot wait to start the second one.

What is on YOUR shelves today?

Split log table riser

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I figured it was a good time to make a little something to make the table (that I made) even prettier, while being functional. I’ve wanted a table riser for quite sometime. No time like the present to make one!

split log table riser

We happened to have this split log in the shed since we moved in. I don’t know where it came from, but it intrigued me. It has a rounded bottom, so I wasn’t sure it would work, but between my husband and myself, we figured it out!

split log table riser

First, we cut off the ends to neaten them up using my circular saw.  I sanded the whole thing with our mini electric sander. I didn’t want to lose much of the bark on the rounded side, though, so I went light there.

split log table riser

Since the bottom is uneven, we did this in an unscientific way. We evenly spaced the blocks, then placed the board (round side down) on top of them, then very carefully glued them, one at a time, making sure it was level. Then we waited while they dried.

split log table riser

My husband attached them each with two extra long screws. And it worked.

split log table riser

All that was left was to brush on a clear coat of varnish.

split log table riser

 Now it is ready to hold platters of food, or decorations, or anything we want! I can’t wait to use it.

Recovered violin case

My friend, Kirsten is the Executive Director of an El Sistema program called KIC. She has old cases for the vioins that the kids use, that have been damaged, and she asked if I could do something to save them. You can check out the first recovered violin case I did here.

I absolutely love saving things from the landfill when I can.

Recovered violin case

I began by seam ripping everthing apart. And I mean EVERYTHING. I made sure to label all the pieces and how they attach to eachother, using words, arrows, and symbols. I kept the original zippers, and unscrewed all the screws and placed them in a baggy, along with all the d-rings.

Recovered violin case

The inside of the case was perfect, so I left that alone.

Recovered violin case

I had this beautiful bottomweight in my stash, plus the black double fold bias tape. The webbing was taken from old straps I kept. Luckily I had a small tab of velcro that was perfect for that flap.

Recovered violin case

After cutting out all the peices, I sewed them together (wrong sides together), sewed bias tape around the edges, then reattached the screws. All while paying attention to where things were supposed to line up.

  Recovered violin case

It was not a quick project by any means. Definitely worth it, though. Now they have a brand new, old case to use.

On-Our-Shelves Sunday: A long awaited book

Oh my goodness, people. I have been waiting for this book for a few months now, and it finally came in!

lodestarm

Keeper of the Lost Cities: Lodestar

*affiliate link*

by Shannon Messenger

 Aaaaaaaaaaaaah! I am so excited. I haven’t even started it, but I CANNOT WAIT! I have read the last four books (more like devoured them) and was thrilled to find out that Shannon Messenger wrote a 5th. You can see how I gushed over the first, third, and fourth (I have no idea why I didn’t review the second…it was great). If you are looking for a fun juvenille fantasy/action/adventure series about teen elves and magic, this is the one for you.

What is on YOUR shelves this week?

Happy Halloween: Giant Pumpkin

Happy Halloween!

Every year my husband carves a 300+ pound pumpkin, and this year is no exception!

Halloween Carved Pumpkin

He actually carved two! This giant is the 375 pound pumpkin.

Halloween Carved Pumpkin

Halloween Carved Pumpkin

and this was the 235 pound pumpkin:

Halloween Carved Pumpkin

He calls this one “Space Cat”.

Halloween Carved Pumpkin

It lights up!

Halloween Bat

 In addition to seeing what he carved, we saw a tiny live bat. I love where he works, especially this time of year.

Halloween Bat

I hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween, whatever you chose to do!

Merida from Brave Costume

I did it! I managed to make my 16 year old a Merida from Brave costume before Halloween!

Merida from Brave costume made by Falafel and the Bee

I made this same girl a Merida costume once before, three years ago, but she grew out of it. So it was time for another! Because she has that incredible thick mane of red hair, it really is a natural costume choice for her. Last year, she had shorter hair, so she was Black Widow. Now that it has grown back, in all it’s curly glory, she can be Merida, again.

Merida from Brave costume made by Falafel and the Bee

On to the dress. If you subscribe to my newsletter, or follow me on Facebook, you know the story about the fabric. Getting it was epic, in itself. I ended up with a beautiful heavier dark teal ponte de roma from Cali Fabrics,

Merida from Brave costume made by Falafel and the Bee

I used an old favorite pattern, The Lady Skater dress by Kitschy Koo, like I used here and here. Only for this, I made a few changes. The first is, I made it a-line and all one piece. To do this, I just taped the two pattern pieces together and cut the fabric as one. I raised the neckline a bit, added a facing, and then added the ruffle around the neckline (and cut up the sleeves) with some silk a lovely 94 year old woman gave me.

Merida from Brave costume made by Falafel and the Bee

The Bee looked everywhere on every beach all Summer to find the perfect driftwood stick to become her bow. She peeled off the remains of the bark, and sanded the heck out of it. She then drew the design on, and etched it on with my wood burning tool.

Merida from Brave costume made by Falafel and the Bee

Because we were short on time, and she is emmersed in her Junior year in High school which is fraught with homeowrk and tests,  I painted it, glued the leather strap on, and made the medallion out of clay. The bowstring is off her old bow (the one she actually shoots with). She and Merida have a lot in common, you know. Although, I would like to think she wouldn’t get a witch to make a cake to turn me into bear, but… we may never find that out.

Merida from Brave costume made by Falafel and the Bee

The quiver is also her old one. She now shoots an olympic recurve bow and has a better quiver. I am glad we held on to this one, though. It is perfect for this costume! We had the belt, but I painted it because it was red. I made the arrows by cutting dowels in half, wrapping them with embroidery floss, making paper fletching (feathers), painting them, and hot glueing them on.

Merida from Brave costume made by Falafel and the Bee

The details on this costume were the parts that took the most time. The “bones” of the dress were done in a day, but those sleeves….they took me what seems like forever! I wanted this dress to hold up, so I finished all the seams on every component, which ate up the majority.

Merida from Brave costume made by Falafel and the Bee

The minute we went outside (yesterday) to photograph this inbetween activites and making dinner, the sky opened up and poured on us. We waited a half hour, and then went out as soon as it stopped. This truly was a labor of love, all around.

Merida from Brave costume made by Falafel and the Bee

Whew!

Merida from Brave costume made by Falafel and the Bee

Now she has a costume for when we head to ComicCon in the Spring. It feels good to have this one all ready to wear.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Birthday to my Husband: Birthdayman

We have lots of traditions in our house that center around each of our birthdays. My husband’s birthday was yesterday. He always gets a handmade crown from our youngest, gets a special meal, and poses with our girls in the yard. Every. Year. Very simple in his requests.  He used to even lift them both up (you can see past years : 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011). And have us call him “Birthdayman” all day.

2006 was the first year he started this, and 2015 was the last year for him to be able to lift our oldest, The Bee. She is now almost 17, and taller than I am, so it is for the best…for all involved. I did not fancy a trip to Urgent care on his Birthday.

birthdaymanimage

That is one strong man.

birthdayman6m

Such goofs.

birthdayman2m

He can still lift this one just fine.

birthdaymanm

We still had all of our regular running around activities to do with our girls, in seperate directions, but I didn’t want his birthday to go uncelebrated. We managed to fit all of his favorite things in and even sing “Happy Birthday”.

I promise to share more sewing/ creating projects this week (if I manage to finish The Bee’s costume before Halloween). Make sure you “like” the Falafel and the Bee  FB page, to catch up on the latest story, in the meantime.

Wish me luck!

On-Our-Shelves Sunday: Singer Curtain book review

On our shelves this week, is a book for me!

Singer sewing custom Curtains, Shades, and Top Treatments book review

Singer

sewing custom curtains, shades, and top treatments

by Susan Woodcock

affiliate link

I was sent a copy of this book to review (as always my opinions are mine, mine, mine), and I just had to give a project a try! Our kitchen window has been naked for years now, because I just couldn’t decide what to put on it. True story. I really love lots of light, especially being out here in the PNW where light is a hot commodity. I also like privacy. So what to do?

Singer sewing custom Curtains, Shades, and Top Treatments book review

I had purchased this fabric a while ago, with no purpose in mind. When I saw the curtain design in the book, I thought it would be perfect. I had the white piping in my stash (as I always try to have, because you never know when you will need white piping- amIright?).

Singer sewing custom Curtains, Shades, and Top Treatments book review

I never would have thought to add the curve at the bottom, and I love it. It lets in the perfect amount of light. This book has oh so many more designs and ideas in it that can help a beginner to an advanced sewist make some beautiful window treatments. It is a great resource to have in my sewing library.

What is on YOUR shelves this week?