Hi Y’All!

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and we have such a easy and quick craft to make.  Grab your cup of coffee, tea or whatever and pull up a seat to find out more about it.

Tea for two

Our Mothers

Mother’s are pretty special people, right?  I mean really, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.  Not everyone is fortunate to have a traditional biological mom to grow up with (I didn’t), but most of us have a “mom” figure in our lives and they are just as important.  They keep us accountable and love us regardless of the messes we create.  Being a mom I totally get that.

You’ve Come A Long Way Baby

If you think about it mom’s have come a long way since the 50’s.  You have the Donna Reed, Leave It To Beaver, and I Love Lucy shows that all depicted stay at home moms.  They took care of the house, kids and had dinner on the table at a certain time every day.

Then if you zoom right into the year 2016 moms are doing everything.  Cooking dinner, caring for the house, taking care of kids, and working full time jobs to help make ends meet.  Don’t get me wrong, some woman want and like a career, but if you’re a mom, you now feel like you need to be supermom – doing it all.  Especially us control freaks – right Wiebke?

Slow Changes & Baby Steps

I have to admit that it is nice to see dads playing a big part in their children’s lives today.  They are not limited to just being the bread winners.  The stigma of being that type of dad is lessening and society is becoming more accepting of stay at home dads and working moms.  Where responsibilities are being shared by both parents and you can decide who does what in your family dynamics and not worry about what others think.  Seriously, we should all be too busy to care about what others think. . . .

Honoring Your Mom

To help honor our mom’s – all types of moms (grandmas, aunts, sisters, friends), we have an easy and quick wood block photo frame that only takes minutes to make.

They will love this frame where the pictures can be changed out as children and grandchildren grow up.  Wiebke and I made the frames to put our own mother’s photos in them.  Wiebke’s Mutti Wood Photo Framepassed away a few years ago so she is displaying her cherished mom’s pictures in her wood photo frame.  I am fortunate to still have my mom with us and I am already displaying my wood photo frame on my family tree shelf – a place of honor.  I am also planning on gifting my daughter-in-laws with woodRustic Wooden Photo Frame block photo frames and putting pictures of my grandchildren in them.  My granddaughter helped me with the research and was excited to make one for her mom as well.  So, if you have little ones that like to get into the thick of things then this is a perfect quick and easy craft to do with them.

Enjoy using your creativity to create your own unique design for the loved one in your family.

The really nice thing about making this wood block photo frame is that you can choose the size of the block of wood you want to use and the size of the photo to go in it.  One thing you want to make sure of is that you choose the right width (no less than 1 3/4-2″) of  wood so that it stands on it’s own.

Rustic Wooden Photo Frame Craft


Wood block, wood stain or paint, a paintbrush, a staple gun or hot glue gun, jute, twine, ribbons and embellishments if you wish.

  • Sand the rough edges on the wood block.Rustic Wood Block Frame
  • Using a paintbrush to apply stain/paint to the wood block.Painting wooden block
  • Wait for the wood block to dry – about 30-60 minutes.
  • At this point you may want to add an additional coat of stain or paint, if so add additional drying time.
  • Apply the twine/ribbon/jute to the block and secure it with the staple or glue gun. You can either apply it crisscross, or you can just apply two or three strands of jute lined up toward the bottom of the block.  Use your imagination.Pearls strung on wood photo frame
  • Add your embellishments to the front of the block and this project is done.Wooden Block Frame embellishmentsNote: Disclaimer

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories.

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

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May Your Day Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Isaiah 19:15

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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How To Conquer Your SmartPhone 101 Episode 2

Episode 2: SmartPhone Controls

Hi Y’all!

We are glad you are here at The Hard Hat Belles website.  We have been busy filming future videos including more episodes on How To Conquer Your SmartPhone.  We have been combining the filming with teaching some of our more challenged friends (Joyce) and family (Pat) how to conquer their smart phones.  Let’s get started and see how well it went; grab your cup and your seat and we’ll get with  today’s topic – Conquer Your Smart Phone 101 Episode 2 (or II).

Tea for twoPhones Back In The Good Ole Days

I am really not that old, (at least I don’t think so), rotary dial phonebut in the last several years telephones have really come a long way.  I can remember rotary phones and when you dialed the phone they made these strange musical noises and then when the dialer would come back to it’s original position, it made another musical noise.  The next telephone I remembered was a push button phone.  You not only used them for communication, but people were also creating tunes Push button phone that ranged from Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to the Three Blind Mice and more.  Their notes were a little more musical and keyboard style; like a piano. Then there were the party lines.  Households within a community shared phone lines and only one family or household could use it at a time.  I remember hearing my parents talk about having to wait (sometimes complaining about the long winded talkers),  until others were done using the phone line in order to place their calls.  You knew someone was on the party line when you picked up your phone and you’d hear a conversation and you’d hear a conversation like this, “. . . and Mary Lou was late to class because she was caught holding hands with George . . . ,”  (just kidding).  But can you imagine the privacy issues back then.   Hmmmm. . . . . . do you think a lot of gossip went on during that time?

History Buffs

If you would like to learn a little more fun history facts about cell phones or just the telephone in general I recommend visiting             The Art Institute’s website or  The FCC Kids Zone or BGR Media, LLC, which shows a brief timeline of the house to cell phone history along with some pictures (for those too young to have experienced the earlier models).

The Here & Now

And here we are – back into the here and now where we are currently using these super small phones (compared to the older ones). You can get a cell phone that is just for talking or one that can do everything your computer at home does.  There appears to be a variety of styles and types to chose from.

Conquering The SmartPhone

We are truly blessed to be living in a time where we can have affordable cell phones that we can take with us when traveling long distances to provide a way to contact others in case we break down or if there is an emergency on the road, which could possibly save lives.

Unfortunately,  for those who do not understand how to operate the cell phone, SmartPhone, or IPhone it can be very frustrating, especially as new and improved models are rolled out on a regular basis.

Slow & Easy

Here at The Hard Hat Belles we are providing a simple, easy, slow, step-by-step method to learn how to use those SmartPhones without stress and we hope, providing some laughter.  We are starting with the basics of the basics from removing the phone from the original container to how to operate the camera and menu settings (future releases).  If this series is helping you or someone you know, please let us know and we will continue with a more in-depth series once all the basics are covered.  Happy SmartPhoning!!

Conquer Your SmartPhone 101:            The Basics 2 (II)

We recommend that you start at the beginning of the series Conquer Your SmartPhone 101: The Basics 1 and watch the video and work your way through to the end of the series.

SmartPhone Control instructions

SmartPhone Control instructionsNOTE:  We are covering a very board spectrum of SmartPhones, so yours just might be slightly different.  Some of the volume buttons may also be on the back of the phone as well.


Once you have completed The Basics 2 tutorial you will be ready to tackle the next video – The Basics III (3), where we will explain the SmartPhone home screen and and it’s icons.  Please join us for the next video and blog.  Remember to subscribe below to be notified when the next episode in this series is released.

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. You can also see each of our videos within our blog stories.

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

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May Your Day Be

Inspiring Hope

Bible Verse Proverbs 9:9

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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Healthy Grilled Avocado & Cheese Panini


Hi Y’All!

We have been so busy at The Hard Hat Belles cooking up some yummy sandwiches.  Grab your drink and a seat and we’ll get down to the nitty gritty details on how to make a healthy Panini sandwich by using your waffle iron, George Foreman (or similar), or sandwich maker.Tea for two

My Introduction to the Panini

I was introduced to the home made Panini when I started hanging out with Wiebke.  I have had a Panini at the Panera Bread restaurant before, but since Wiebke has been making a very healthy Panini during most of our shoots I have to say hers are just AWESOME!!  I am totally  hooked and I am never going to look back.

Equipment Needed for the Perfect Panini

Griddles and Grills

When I started paying attention to the way Wiebke makes her grilled Panini I was amazed at how simple it was.  The little grill she uses was purchased by her husband as a gag gift from the Salvation Army.  Her family has a Christmas tradition that involves a trip to the Salvation Army every year.  Their tradition involves a set amount of dollars spent and contingencies on the item purchased.  I know one of the years revolved around the gifts being a certain color (I think red).  Another year they had five minutes to find the gift;  I believe that is the year she received the grill. 

Needless to say, you don’t have to purchase a special Panini Sandwich maker like the ones Kohl’s sells to make these delish Panini.  You can just use your existing George Forman or similar (which is what I use) or some waffle griddles you have around the house. 

More Panini Ideas & Suggestions

Grilled Avocado and Cheese PaniniAbove is the picture of our Avocado & Cheese Panini, but your imagination is the limit.  Wiebke often times make a Panini out of cheese, tomato, healthy lunch meat and onion.  I have even made a few myself , yes me! My personal favorite recipe is Tuna fish mixed with cheddar cheese sauce – yummylisous! The point is that you can use your imagination and add or remove ingredients that appeal to you. 

Make sure to check out our Pinterest site for our recommended Panini ideas and below are a few more suggestions (Although these sandwich recipes below are cooked on top of the stove  try using Wiebke’s Panini method and add a few twists yourselves).  Be prepared to be blown away with texture and flavor!

  • Pepperoni, mozzarella, pizza sauce, Parmesan, whole-grain bread by Rachel Gurk
  • Smoked Salmon, dill, goat cheese, ciabatta by Deanna Samaan
  • Goat cheese, prosciutto, Dijon mustard, whole grain bread, goat cheese, Anjou pear by Lia Huber
  • Cooked peeled sweet potato, Havarti, kale, granny smith apple, whole-grain bread by Maria and Josh Lichty
  • Brie, dark chocolate, raspberry jam, raspberries, sourdough by Monique Volz

The Grilled Avocado & Cheese Panini Recipe

Panini Recipe

  • No need to use any kind of oils, butter or margarine on the Panini bread on non stick grills as this is the healthy aspect of Wiebke’s Panini
  • Preheat your grill
  • Lay out the bread slices on the cutting board (we used 9 grain)
  • Place a slice of cheese onto each slice of bread
  • Remove pit and slice the avocado
  • Slice tomatoes
  • Add sliced avocado, sliced tomatoes and salt & pepper to one half of the bread and cheese slices.
  • Top with remaining slices of cheese and bread.
  • Set the timer for approximately 3 minutes
  • Allow to cool for about a minute then slice
  • Disclaimer

Please subscribe to our blog  (you will get both the video and blog update) or above so we can keep you up to date on what crazy stuff we have been doing.

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For words of encouragement (just because we know life can be tough) check out our Inspiring Hope page.

Bible Verse

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke


Small Hand Tools – Tricks and Hacks

Small Tools Cheats

Hi Y’all!

Welcome to our corner of the web.  We’re glad your here to learn and enjoy a few laughs with us.  Wiebke is off to Canada and she left me in charge here (big mistake), so we will just have to enjoy a few extra laughs on her behalf. You really need to check out some of the pictures I have added of her.  So, grab that seat and beverage and check out what we’ve been up to.

Tea for twoLearning to Use Hand Tools

When my husband, Bill passed away a little over a year ago I was stuck with having to do some small repairs around the house and grounds.  Mind you, I considered myself pretty smart and Bill did show and teach me a lot about house maintenance………..or so I thought.  I don’t think you truly realize how much a person does or impacts your life until they are gone. Whether they went to heaven, you’re newly divorced or you’ve moved out on your own.  It can be really tough trying to cover everything especially when you don’t really know anything.

Needless to say I started doing repairs and maintenance around the house and found that I wasn’t as handy as I would have liked.  I could barely hold a screw and screw it in – not to mention that I couldn’t hold a nail and hammer it in without pounding not only my thumb, but I managed to bruise my whole hand.

So this started my journey into reading books, watching videos, and researching the internet to find out how to actually handle tools properly.  Along the way I picked up a few tricks (or hacks) that helped me do things easier or simpler.

The Hard Hat Belles &The Hard Hat Belles Tools Tools

Not only was learning how to do things that my husband would do one of the reasons that we developed The Hard Hat Belles, but tools also played a big part in our decision to teach others (mainly geared at tool clueless women and girls of all ages).  Wiebke was and is my cohort in helping me to figure things out after Bill passed.  She is also married to a very handy man and believe me, she picks his brain more than ever now.

If you are like me – one of those people who are just too stubborn to think they can’t do it or someone who just can’t afford a handy man then our blog and videos will teach you as we learn ourselves. Plus as an added bonus we can all have a few laughs along the way.


Wood or metal handled hammer

We may joke about tools, but here at The Hard Hat Belles we always believe in safety first!  Please use safety when you are doing a project involving tools.  We each only get two eyes and hands, if we’re blessed – let’s protect them (disclaimer).

Protect your eyesSafety Gloves

Small Hand Tool Tips, Tricks & Hacks

We hope our small hand tool video showed you some new tips on how to use those hand tools of yours.  Plus stick around we have some awesome tips listed below.  Let us know in the comments below which ones have worked best for you or if you have some new ones we didn’t list.  We love hearing from you!

Small hand tools

  • Use a man’s pocket comb to hold a screw or nail
  • Use a clothes pin with a spring to hold a nail or screw
  • Use a plastic lid or piece of firm cardboard to hold a nail or screw by cutting a slit in it
  • Use an old pair of gloves to cover plier tips to keep from leaving teeth markings in the project you are working on.  You can also  remove the fingers from old holey ones and keep them handy (toolsmithdirect.com)
  • Use a rubber band and wrap it around the plier handles to hold the the item you want held like a vise or if you need to step away from a project for a moment (bathroom call) it will be held in place
  • An easy way to identify a jar of screw drivers is to simply mark the top with a design of the tip using a marker, nail polish, white-out etc.
  • Use a hammer size your “hand” is comfortable using
  • Grip a hammer towards the end of the hammer for better contact with a nail (gripping towards the bulky top can cause you harm and will take forever to hammer that waMeasuring tapey)
  • If your retractable measuring tape starts to get sluggish put some car wax on both sides then wipe it off  (elec-toolbox.com/ under Tricks of Trade)Measuring Wiebke

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases.

And please subscribe (below) to our blog  (you will get both the video and blog update) or above so we can keep you up to date on what crazy stuff we have been doing.

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For words of encouragement (because we know life can be tough) check out our Inspiring Hope page.

Rom 15:5Love & Hugs,

Denine & WiebkeTHHB Logo



How To Conquer Your SmartPhone 101 Episode 1

Episode 1: The Basics

Hi Y’all!

Welcome to the Hard Hat Belles website.  We couldn’t be happier to have you land on our page than if today were Christmas.  We have been really busy listening to our readers and gathering up the ideas for future videos.  We are excited about the ideas – keep them coming in!  Let’s get started; grab your favorite go-to drink and a seat and we’ll get started on today’s topic – Conquer Your Smart Phone 101 Episode 1.

Tea for two

We All Have “Those” People

Both Wiebke and I have family and friends who are SmartPhone challenged.  We are always being asked, “how to do this” or “I don’t know how that happened” with their SmartPhones.  I can understand being SmartPhone challenged as I am seriously Twitter challenged.  No matter how many times I try to “get” it I just can’t, hence why I have four accounts and cannot access or do anything with them.  Heck, I don’t even know how to get rid of them. So, to save us and our loved ones from starting a SmartPhone war, we came up with a tutorial series that those challenged family and friends can refer back to over and over again.

What We Want You To Know

In this series on Conquer Your SmartPhone 101 we will be going through a series of tutorials via our YouTube channel TheHardHat Belles.  To date we have a series of 11 episodes, but may expand into an advanced series. Although most SmartPhones are similar there may be a few brands this tutorial will not cover. What we plan to initially cover are the following topics:SmartPhone Basics 1

What To Expect

This series will be geared to the people who like to learn slowly and in small steps. We will also provide – for free – a print out of the tutorial instructions so you can have a handy reference sheet to practice and practice and practice. Here at our blog we will go into some more details that may have been unclear from our video.  You can also address any questions you may have in the comment section below and we will work to get them all answered.

Conquer Your SmartPhone 101:            The Basics

Smart Phone Basics 1


Once you have completed The Basics 1 tutorial you will be ready to tackle the next video – The Basics II, which will cover the phone controls (i.e. power button, on/off, ringer & more).  Please join us for the next video and blog.

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases.

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

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If you have any comments or questions about how to Conquer Your SmartPhone or other ideas for us to try, please let us know below in the comments.

Prvs 1:5

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke