Personalized Hammer: An Easy Quick Gift For The Tool Loving Man (or Woman) In Your Life

THHB Personalized Hammers

Are you stumped as to what to get for your husband, your Dad, or grandpa as a Father’s Day gift or any tool loving person? Stick around and we will share how to make a practical personalized gift for the tool loving people in your life! The cool thing about this gift is that you can use (with permission) the wooden handled hammer your husband, Dad or grandpa already has in his toolbox.  So go ahead and nail this project to impress the them!

Hi Y’All,

Come on in and have a seat.  Would you like coffee or tea?  Please help yourself.  With Father’s Day coming up, we thought we’d should you how to create your very own Personalized Hammer for your loved one!

Tea for two

Personalized Hammer


Father’s Day is fast approaching and Wiebke and I wanted to give you a quick , easy, inexpensive craft that you or the kids can make for that special man in your life.Peonie and wooden hammers

We truly think that all those fathers, grandpas, or significant males in your life will love the “personal” aspect of this craft as you can make your message specific to each of them….And by the way – this isn’t only for males!  If you have a tool loving woman in your life any wooden tool that can be sanded will work too! The same method will work.

Who Represents Your Father Figure

I think all of us at one time or another has had a male figure in our life that has influenced who we have become.  Mine was my father.  Who was yours?

Understanding Dad

I really didn’t understand my dad until I was much older and had children of my own.  Don’t you think that seems to be the case for most of us? My dad was grew up in a generation where you were considered a good and successful father if you provided a roof over your family’s head and enough food to eat.  You know  those fathers – the generation of fathers who grew up watching Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best or Make Room For Daddy. I have to say that Dad was a VERY good provider.

From This Child’s Perspective

Success as a father was measured differently during those days compared to today.  Now fathers are much more involved in the raising of their children, often times sharing equal time and participation with the mothers. I don’t know about your house, but in our house my father was a huge presence.  I was small and he seemed SO tall and his voice was deep. He would go to work, come home and we’d eat dinner at a specific time. Then he would nap on the couch afterwards because he worked long hours. My dad wasn’t a person who was big on showing affection with his children.  We had a sense that he cared and loved us, but there wasn’t a lot of sitting on his lap to read stories or for cuddle time.  Do you think it might have had something to do with having six children and finding the time?

Dad’s All Grown Up

As I grew older Dad seemed to grow up or I should say my perspective grew up and I started to connect with him on a different level.  I think as we become adults we start seeing our fathers as men with personalities instead of this big presence in our lives who was just a provider.  All of a sudden it seemed to me that he became very interesting and he had opinions I was interested in hearing.  His sense of humor was wonderful and could be contagious and appreciated.  He got smarter too! My dad wasn’t perfect,  but he was Dad, who did the best he could. He passed away in May 2010 and I miss him.

Who was your major male influence?  Was it a brother, uncle, friend, step-father or father? Did they grow up too when you grew up?

I would like to leave you with this piece of advice.  Life truly is short and we really do not how long we have with our loved ones.  Please work hard (because life is not easy) to cherish those loved ones every single day!


Personalized HammerPersonal Hammer Supplies

To make this easy gift, all you need is a hammer with a wooden handle, some fine grit sandpaper, damp paper towel, permanent markers, Mod Podge, a foam brush, and some ribbon or raffia. If you are not confident of your handwriting or printing you can use stencils or stickers instead of the permanent marker.

  1. Sand down one side of the hammer’s handle to rough up and wear down the clear coat.Sanding the hammer
  2. Use a damp paper towel (or rag) to wipe off the sandpaper dust. Make sure the handle is clean and dry for the next step.Personalized hammer sanded
  3. Take the permanent markers and write out your message. (VeeBee is a control freak, so she did a few practice runs to make sure she would have her spacing just right.)Write out personal message
  4. Brush a coat of Mod Podge over the written message.  Let the Mod Podge dry for 15-20 minutes and brush on a second layer and set aside to dry.Add Mod podge to personal hammer
  5. Tie a bow around the hammer and you are ready to give a special Father’s Day gift.Completed personalized hammers


And there you have it! Please let us know how you nailed this project in the comments below.

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. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

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May Your Day Be Spent

Inspiring HopeBible Verse Psalm 68:5

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke


How to Conquer Your SmartPhone 101 Episode 3

Episode 3: SmartPhone Icons & Buttons

Hi Y’All,

Thanks for stopping in and joining us for our Conquer Your SmartPhone 101 Course.  If you haven’t noticed by now, I am not a natural in front of the camera. . . and teaching in front of it makes my wig itch (picture below).  Grab a chair and your drink and get ready for a few chuckles.

Tea for two

Why Create the Conquer Your SmartPhone Series?

My Itchy Wig Syndrome

I really have empathy for those who have a difficult time learning new technology, seriously.  And technology changes so fast that it is next to impossible to stay up with it and if you add in those people who have a learning curve issue, like my wonderful mother, it could become frustrating.

I am pretty savvy at learning new things – I think because I enjoy learning,  but I get so frustrated when I just learn how to operate teh technology and “they” decide to upgrade, update, or make a new improved model, don’t you?  And I don’t know about you, but it drives me crazy when I cannot find the exact words in my brain dictionary to explain myself to others when asking for help! I can’t decide if it makes me laugh more or frustrates me more when I can’t locate those words. . . hmmm. . . .  maybe those are the menopausal moments.

When I have to learn new technology even when it is exciting – it also frustrates me.  My brain kind a feels like a character from the Disney/Pixar movie Inside Out click here  where all my little emotions are going haywire. I can just picture it, Mrs. Frustration just fluttering around in my brain going in circles yelling “I got this, no I don’t, yes I do, no I don’t” as she is twisting and turning the item around punching buttons …lol.

To see what I am talking about check out the trailer above or click here.

Don’t get me wrong, Wiebke and I both love technology, but- TECHNOLOGY sometimes makes me feel like just laying on the floor and having a fit like a two year old having a tantrum.  But, as luck would have it, I’d probably break something or at the very least sprain something {sigh}.  I am certainly glad that all that commotion in my head doesn’t show on the outside only on the inside {I’d scare and confuse myself, let alone anyone else}.

What Learning, Frustration, & Packing My Mother in a Box Have In Common

CSP3 Peonie and SmartPhones

I am sure that the poor victims of new technology frustrations {especially my sweet mother}, will be glad to have The Hard Hat Belles How To Conquer Your SmartPhone series available as they will be able to access it as many times as they need to without having to drive their loved ones crazy with, ” the phone icon just disappeared again and it is not a smartphone, but a stupid one.” or “I can’t find the phone icon {camera, message box etc}, again”.

Seriously, how many times can you lose an icon before you figure out what you did?  I also have had my mother take notes.  But it really doesn’t help if she keeps on losing the book the notes are in.  Unbelievably, my technology challenged mother had this 8″ x 6″ hot pink, furry note book that she put some notes in. . . . And yes, she lost that as well {sigh}.

Either I had to give up trying to bring my mom into the twentieth century or I needed to package her and the SmartPhone into a box and ship them both to the SmartPhone company and ask them to upgrade or improve her as well.  I am so glad that my mother loves me and puts up with me.  She’s definitely a keeper.

Thus, we created the How To Conquer Your SmartPhone 101 series to help others and keep us sane {which might be hard to do, come to think about it}.

Slow & Easy Sets The Pace

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 more likely 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!!

Instructions To Conquer Your SmartPhone 101:

The Basics 3 (III)

IF you haven’t already viewed the previous video and/or instructions, we recommend that you start at the beginning of the series Conquer Your SmartPhone 101: The Basics 1 and watch the video to work your way through to the end of the series.CSP Episode 3

NOTE:  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 3 tutorial you will be ready to tackle the next video episode 4 – Create A Gmail Google Account – where we will explain how to create these accounts using your SmartPhone itself.  These accounts are necessary in order to use some of the functions on your SmartPhone.  Please join us for the next video and blog.  Remember to subscribe below to be notified when the next episode and video in the series is released.

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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.

May Your Day Be Spent INSPIRING HOPE

Bible Verse Proverbs 9:9
ŒLove & Hugs

Denine & Wiebke


Easy Party Food – Chicken Wing Dings Quick Prep Style


Hi Y’All!

We are so happy to see you here.  I have to tell you that we were busy with our own competition – A Wing Ding Cook Off.  Grab that coffee and your seat and find out what happened and who won the famous THHB Chicken Wing Ding Cook Off!

Tea for two

How It All Started. . .

It was a Wednesday and on each Wednesday The Hard Hat Belles have a Summit meeting. This is where we do the “not always so fun” business work of our venture into the world of YouTube and blogging.  Wiebke and I were brainstorming ideas for future episodes back in February of this year. We actually like to keep the filming schedule at least two months in advance. This allows us to schedule around any family or personal events or needs that we have coming up.

We needed a recipe. . .

We usually try to work the recipes around events, holidays or the time of year.  For this particular episode we needed a recipe for the upcoming Memorial Day Holiday and graduation parties.  We did all our research and finally settled on chicken wings as the recipe.  Fairly easy, can be made in quantity for parties, and a crowd favorite.  At this point we had no idea what we were going to do with them (other than cooking them).Raw Chicken Wing

Wiebke had some recipe suggestions and I also had some as well.  She wanted something quick as she felt our viewers would be interested in quick. However, I felt that our viewers would be more interested in easy.  Both recipes were great, but we were divided on what to do!  Hence, we came up with The Hard Hat Belles Chicken Wing Ding Cook Off!


Finally. . .

Yes, we decided that we could pull off a competition between Wiebke’s recipe and my own.  Wiebke’s recipe is actually a two for one deal.  She uses the same recipe up until the end where she takes one single ingredient and comes up with two totally different flavored wing dings.  And her recipe is done within 25 minutes – beginning to end.

Now my recipe was one that my husband Bill and I sort of came up with together.  Before he passed away he use to prepare his own BBQ sauce once a year.  He tweaked a recipe from one he found in a Missouri newspaper several years ago and made it his own.  Once a year for a whole day, he would gather the ingredients for the sauce and work on it.  He even canned it himself.  I was always so impressed with him. . . and the sauce was yummylicious. . .seriously GOOD!  I have to say it was my very favorite.

What we would do is take the leftover sauce that didn’t fit in a pint canning jar and put it in a crock pot along with some chicken wings (or wing drums or any part of the chicken).  That’s it. . . two ingredients and 4-6 hours later – very tender, delicious BBQ Wing Dings.  The last jar of Bill’s BBQ sauce has been gone for a while.  Now I just use whatever BBQ sauce I have on hand – my family usually prefers Sweet Baby Rays.

You Decide . . .

I have to tell you that all the recipes were very good.  They each had merits of their own. We want you to tell us which recipe you tried and what you thought in the comments below.  Wiebke and I are very competitive and although all the recipes were very good – we couldn’t decide on a favorite.  We kept eating and tasting them all and still could not decide. . . So cast your vote!!

Wing Dings



Prep time 5 mins – Cook time 20 mins – Total time 25 mins

Serves 4-6

IngredientsVeeBee Wing Dings

Cooking spray (Wiebke uses“Pam” Olive oil)

3lbs chicken wings (with the tips detached)

1½ Tablespoons baking powder (check out the The Food Lab Website for information on why baking powder makes chicken crispy)

½ teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons curry powder

For the Spicy Curry wings add 1 teaspoon red pepper

For the Tropical Ginger flavor add 2 teaspoons ground ginger

NOTE:  Wiebke adds the final ingredients to the wings except for the red pepper and ginger.  She then splits the batch and adds the last two ingredients separately.  She enjoys the tropical flavor while her guys enjoys the flavor on the spicy side.


  1. Preheat the broiler of your oven to high. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and apply cooking spray generously.
  2. Place the wings in a large mixing bowl. Add the baking powder and salt to the wings and mix together. Evenly spread the wings on to the baking sheet.chicken wings coated
  3. Place wings under the broiler for 10 minutes, turn them over and then broil them for another 10 minutes.Wing Ding Chicken
  4. Blend the broiled chicken wings in a mixing bowl with the brown sugar and spices until coated. Enjoy!


BBQ Chicken Wings INgredients

2 lb. chicken wings

1 cup Your Favorite Barbecue Sauce (Baby Ray’s, Hunt’s, Kraft, etc)

1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg (my secret ingredient)

Chopped green onion (for garnish)

1 cup Ranch Dressing or honey (dipping option-I like them plain)


  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in the crock pot (slow cooker); cover with lid. Cook on LOW 4 to 6 hours or on HIGH 3 to 5 hours, depending on how fast you need them.  NOTE: Do not add any other liquids to the crock pot.  There will be plenty of juices from the chicken.Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Wings
  2. Use slotted spoon to transfer wings to a platter. Drizzle small about of sauce over the wings. Discard sauce remaining in slow cooker.
  3. Sprinkle wings with chopped green onions. Serve with dressing for dipping (optional). I like to take Wiebke’s Greek yogurt(in place of sour cream) and add spices to it.

Note: Disclaimer

And there you have it! It is now time for you to cast your vote.

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. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

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May Your Day Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Bible Verse Psalm 91:4

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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Cleaning Battery terminals – Remove Corrosion Quick and Easy

Clean Your Corroded Battery Terminals In A Jiffy!

Hi Y’All!

Welcome to The Hard Hat Belles where we do and learn with lots of laughter.  Pull up a seat and grab your cup of tea, coffee or whatever you prefer to drink and be ready for some fun.

Tea for twoLet There Be . . . . . No Lights

It is dusk outside and even darker in the house.  Just about the time that I should start turning on the lights.  It is still winter outside and the house is a little bit chilly from the winds that are blowing against it.

I always start in the living room turning on both lamps, then move to the kitchen and turn on the two overhead lights in there.  As I move from room to room, turning on the lights one by one to brighten my living space, the area becomes more cozy and homey.  I work my way to the back of the house to turn on the porch lights for late arrivals.

I am home alone enjoying the peace and quiet.  No television or radio to distract me from the peacefulness.  I dip two tablespoons of decaf coffee grounds into the coffee filter anticipating the enjoyment of a cup while I read – my favorite pastime.

I nestle into “my” reading chair with a novel while the coffee starts to brew.  I’ve been reading this book a couple of weeks now and as I get drawn into the story line once again (when I read, I am there in the story), the lights suddenly . . . . go out.  Seriously, are you kidding me?  The room is immediately engulfed in darkness.  I can’t even make out my hand in front of my face.

Let There Be Light . . . or Not

Fortunately, my husband was always prepared for these types of emergencies.  All I had to do was make it to the laundry room (at the back of the house) from the living room, without killing myself, to find the lantern and candles stored on the VERY top shelf just for such an occasion.  Oh, by the way, I also had to find the step stool in order to reach those items.  I carefully made my way through the house, my arms and hands stretched out to their limits without incident. Yes!Clean Battery Terminal Lantern


I found the step stool and reached up for the magic box of light, the lantern and candles, easily enough.  I traced my path back to the kitchen to set my treasure out on the counter, still in the dark.  I opened the box with the lantern as it would be the quickest way to set up all the candles.


Once, I had the lantern in my hands I felt for the switch and turned; click, click . . . . no light.  Okay, maybe I turned it the wrong way; click, click . . . still no light.  Alright, not panicking, but concerned.  Oh, maybe the batteries are not in it?  Nope, all the batteries are in it.  Hmmm, maybe the batteries are dead as I haven’t checked on this stuff since my husband passed away in 2014.

First things first as I am still in complete darkness.  I felt around in the box and found the lighter and candles.  I light a few to make it easier to hunt around for batteries. Now where to find some more batteries. . . I know, I just put some in my radio on the microwave . . . whew.   I removed the batteries from the backside of the radio and inserted them into the lantern; click, click . . . still didn’t work??  I know the batteries are good because I was playing the radio a couple of days ago.

Seriously . . .

Back to the lantern. . . I pulled open the battery cover and casing and remCorroded Batteries oved the batteries that I had just inserted.  With the candle I peer into the cavity only to find all this bluish white stuff.  Corrosion! Not only on the terminals, but on the batteries that had been stored in it as well.

Let me tell you it was not very restful or as peaceful as I had hoped to enjoy, to read by the candlelight with all the candles spread out on my kitchen table for 3 hours while waiting for the electricity to come back on.  Not to mention, I didn’t get my coffee either! I am also sure I will suffer repercussions from  caffeine withdrawal, peace deprivation, and the strain on my eyes for years to come (alright, a slight (big) exaggeration).

When the electricity came back on one of the first things I did was to contact Wiebke and ask her if she was agreeable to creating a video on How To Clean Corroded Battery Terminals.  I was determined not to go through another episode of NO lights (can you tell, I am still traumatized).

After much research The Hard Hat Belles filmed Cleaning Corroded Battery Terminals. I now have a clean lantern, minus batteries not being stored in it, ready to go for the next electrical outage.


It is very important that you understand that the goggles and rubber gloves are a must.  Sure, you could do them quicker without these items, but you only get one pair of eyes and hands – Let’s protect them.  For the science and hazard information behind the corrosion that can be harmful – check out one of the many US Department of Health and Human Services analysis reports within their Household Products Database at their website.

Supplies You Will Need

Corroded battery supplies for cleaning

Rubber gloves, paper towels, white vinegar, a syringe, water, a hammer, a flat-tip screwdriver and a hard surface to work on.

Step 1:  Take out or pry out the corroded batteries, if needed. You may need to tap on it with a hammer or pry it out with flat tipped screw driver.

Corroded Batteries

Step 2:  Dispose of the batteries properly. For more information on how to dispose of batteries safely and why – check out the Environmental, Health, and Safety Online website and the Earth911 website.

Step 3:  To get rid of the corrosive deposits from the inside of the lantern use a syringe filled with vinegar and spray it directly onto the corroded terminals.  There will be some bubbling as the vinegar reacts with the corrosion.

Corroded Battery Terminal

Step 4: Using a toothbrush, gently scrub the terminals until the corrosion is gone and the metal is all shiny (or mostly shiny).

Cleaned Battery Terminals


Step 5: Rinse the parts you cleaned thoroughly with water. You can again use a syringe to target the specific area that had corrosion on it.

Step 6: Dry the areas you cleaned as much as you can with paper towels or a regular small towel. Make sure to air-dry the lantern completely before re-installing new batteries. This may need an overnighter drying.

Note: Disclaimer

And there you have it! A shining lantern with no corrosive battery terminals ready to be loaded with batteries and put to work.

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. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

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May Your Day Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Ps 18:28

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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