Fruit Infused Ice Cubes: An Upbeat Motivational Tool

Do you need motivation to drink more water?  Or do you just like the way decorative ice cubes look in your glass?  Either way, we have the recipe for you – Fruit Infused Ice Cubes!  You won’t believe the health benefits packed into each one!

Hi Y’All,

Have you found that summer brings it’s own joys and struggles?  Wiebke loves summer, but since her little guy has been out of school she says she is suffering from SAD (summer adjustment disorder).  I am sure some of you can relate.  At The Hard Hat Belles we hope to make your day a little bit brighter and the adjustment a little easier     with these fruit infused ice cubes.  Grab your cup-o-stuff and a seat and lets get to it!

Tea for two

Why We Need A Little Color In Our Day

We all need some inspiration and hope when we have those days – you know the ones – the “I should have stayed in bed” days. Wiebke has actually assigned an acronym to those days ( SHSIB ).

Or sometimes we just need something colorful to brighten our days. A kind of celebration that each day is a new beginning and thank you Jesus for that!

Our moods can be reflected by the colors that we wear, how we design it into our homes, or surround ourselves with.  My fav color is yellow!  Nice, bright, sunny yellow – Variety of colorswhich I guess reflects my optimistic nature.  What is your color?  Does it reflect your personality?   For kicks-n-giggles check out empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com  to see what your fav color tells about you.  Maybe that is why fruit is so colorful..hmm…it’s good for us and can make us feel better.

Fruit Health Properties

Today we are showing you how to make your very own Fruit Infused Ice Cubes.  Normally, I look at fruit as a tasty booster to weight loss, but with the Fruit Infused Ice Cubes it is also a great motivational tool, especially when I add it to my new water jug (get the instructions on how to make your very own Motivational Water Jug here).  Not only are they colorful and pretty to look at, but they are packed with “good”and “healthy” stuff as well!limes, lemon, oranges

Raspberries have antioxidants, detoxifying, and laxative properties.

Oranges have high levels of antioxidants.

Lemons are body cleansing, cancer fighting, immunity boosting, and antibacterial.

Mint  is full of strong antioxidants, a decongestant, and can help with indigestion.

Blueberries have high levels of vitamin C, manganese, and are a good source of dietary fiber.

Limes  are antibiotic, anti-carcinogenic and have detoxifying properties.

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber.

Now that you know how beneficial the FRUIT INFUSED ICE CUBES are – let’s get to the nitty gritty and make some!

Fruit Infused Ice Cubes

Supplies needed: Various fruits and herbs, ice cube tray, and water.Variety of fruit for ice cube trayPrepare your fruit and herbs by cutting and chopping them to the size of your ice cube tray.Fresh fruit and herbsAdd water to the ice cube tray covering the fruit and herbs fully (this will prevent freezer burn of uncovered fruit and herbs if left in freezer for an extended length of time).Water filled ice cube trayPut into freezer until frozen through.  Enjoy!frozen fruit ice cube trayDisclaimer

To watch more of our fun DIY 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!

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MAY YOUR DAY BE SPENT

INSPIRING HOPEProverbs 18:21 verse

Love & Hugs,

Denine & WiebkeTHHB Logo

 

Rock and Stone Crafts – Gnomes and Gnome Homes

Did you know that you can color rocks with Sharpie permanent markers? In this video we show off our Gnomes and Gnome Homes as Rock Art. This is a fun craft to do yourself or with your kids during summer vacation. Sit and doodle on rocks, as you soak up the sun!

Hi Y’All,

I can’t wait to get started on today’s topic and craft.  It is a bit of a tongue twister so watch that eye tooth of yours and keep your tongue away so you can see what you are saying.  Grab your cup of stuff and a seat and sit a spell as I weave a story of make believe around you.Tea for two

Magical Worlds

Don’t we all have a little bit of the child in us and think about the awesome world of make believe?  I am one such person – how about you?  I love the idea of fairies, elves, mystical creatures and gnomes.  I know that they aren’t real – but every once in a while I like to let my imagination go a little and think about the “what if’s” in the magical world. Gnome Flowering Village I especially love to let my imagination run wild when I go some place that has all those miniature villages set up. It doesn’t matter if it is located in a store or someone’s garden.  Intelligently, you know no one lives in them (seriously, I do), but my imagination conjures up whole lives wrapped around those villages {sigh of enjoyment}.  Just a peek into the lives of those magical make believe creatures can give me back a little bit of my childhood and a sense of wonder.

Oh, The Displays . . .

Do you know anyone who has one of those magical places on display?  Aren’t they just the most intriguing eye candy?

ARAC Roof tops plus
These are painted (not marker) Gnome Homes

My mom is one of those people who loves gardening and setting up all kinds of statues and fairyland items.  She creates a village of her own and lets her imagination go. She does like her gnomes and she’s not prejudiced – any size, style, make or material works for her.  At any time you might just find a gnome or two hanging around her place. You might find a two foot Mr. Gnome made of plaster standing next to a two inch Mrs. Gnome painted on a rock.  Do you know someone who would love a gnome or two?  Well, we at The Hard Hat Belles have the perfect craft for you to create for yourself or that special GNOME loving someone!

Mystical History

Did you know that gnomes were once one and the same with dwarfs?   Or that they were considered nature spirits – one with the elements?  The New World Encyclopedia website, states that “Paracelsus, a sixteenth century Swiss alchemist identified gnomes

Mixed Gnome Village of paint and markers
Mixed Gnome Village of paint and markers

as a class of nature spirits comprising earth elementals (in contrast to the air, water, and fire elementals). The class of gnomes has been considered to include satyrs, pans, dryads, elves, brownies, and goblins, some helping plants and animals, some helping humans, some reclusive ones staying underground or in dark forests, perhaps hoarding treasure, and others interacting mischievously or even harmfully with humans.”  Check out their website for more interesting facts about where gnomes originated.

Bring The Magical Gnomes Alive

There is a really cute animated movie called Gnomeo & Juliet, that brings the magic of gnomes to life.  A must see for young and the young at heart.

2011 Touchstone Pictures trailer story line: The greatest love story ever told, starring…garden gnomes? In “Gnomeo & Juliet,” Shakespeare’s revered tale gets a comical, off-the-wall makeover. The title characters have as many obstacles to overcome as their quasi namesakes when they find themselves caught up in a feud between neighbors. With plastic pink flamingos and thrilling lawnmower races in the mix, can this young couple find a happy ending?

Gnome & Gnome Home Instructions

1.       Chose your perfect or not so perfect rocks.  I prefer not perfect to give the house or gnome character.RAC Rocks

2.       Gather your supplies:  1 med/fine black Sharp ie, Sharpies of colors you want your house and/or gnome to be, pencil, Mod Podge.

Rock Supplies

3.       Wash your rocks and allow to completely dry (otherwise the sharpies will smear).

4.       Very roughly outline your house details (you do not need to pencil details or the landscaping) and/or gnome with the pencil (not too darkly as you want the sharpie to cover over it).Rock Art Gnome Home Craft Outline

5.        Sharpie in the lighter colors first; your windows with yellow to look like the house is occupied; gnome body color and eyes. You get the idea.Rock Art Craft Gnome HOme

6.       Next sharpie in the main color of the house and body of the gnome around all the other details.  Don’t worry about getting right next to the other colors as you will come back later and outline them in black.ARAC Step1fillhouse

7.       Sharpie in the door and gnome with any unique details you wish to add.  Finished gnome home

Gnome Outline

8.       Touch up any missed or messed up areas – some flaws of the rock will make it uniquely yours.

9.   Allow to completely dry – preferred 24 hours.

10.   Paint on two coats of Mod Podge allowing each coat to dry in between completely.  This will seal your Sharpie workmanship.Mod Podge Coats

11.   Gnome and Gnome home complete.

Disclaimer

Now all you need to do is find that special gnome and gnome home a permanent home.  Please share with us how your Gnomes and Gnome Homes turned out below in our comments.

To watch more of our fun 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!

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May Your Day Be Spent 

Inspiring Hope

Bible Verse Matthew 7:24

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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How to Make Kale and Quinoa Salads – Fruit vs Greek

The Hard Hat Belles will show you how to prepare two delicious salads with Quinoa and Kale as base. Quinoa contains about 15% of protein and Kale is known for its detox properties. Combining these two turns them into the dream food for any vegetarian (and even if your not!). You are sure to enjoy these salads this summer!

Hi Y’All!

With summer coming on we decided it would be very refreshing to show you how to make some unique salads using kale and quinoa.  I have to say that KALE is my new go to salad leaf.  So, grab your drink and a seat and let’s make some salads.

Tea for two

TROUBLE IN KALE LAND

When Wiebke and I started looking for a different type of salad to create for you – I had a very reluctant reaction to the thought of using the kale.  Why you ask?  Well, it all started a few years ago when my husband was diagnosed with cancer and we were trying to do all things healthy.  We got a special juicer and did research on the best produce for the best juices.  Kale was at the top of the list.

Unbeknownst to us was that the stomach flu was making it’s vicious way through our family.

You guessed it!  The day we decided to start off with a very healthy  CLEANSING kale juice (and of course it had to be a large 20 oz), and the flu decided to collide.  Let’s just say it wasn’t very pretty around our house for about a week and everything reeked of kale….ugh.

So, when Wiebke found some kale and quinoa recipes and we discussed them – I was very hesitant.   But she was very interested to experiment with kale and combine it with quinoa.  I have to say these two salads really changed the way I think about kale and quinoa now.  Kale really is the new lettuce in my household and I am besotted with quinoa.  I am completely converted .  Still not sure I’d try another kale juice though. . .

Hail The Kale

Once we learned the magic of making kale more tender and beautiful to boot it was up hill from there.  You’ll have to read the recipes to discover the magic yourself.  To me, kale has a flavor  similar to fresh spinach, however, it is much milder.  The other bonus that I love – is that it lasts so much longer than ice berg, Romaine, or Leaf lettuce in your refrigerator.

I have had it on homemade pizza, tacos, nachos, sandwiches. . .  anything and anywhere I might use lettuce.  I am totally sold and we hope you will be too.

Why Kale?

The potential health benefits of kale are amazing and really worth the effort to investigate.  The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health’s scientific article on . . . Green Vegetable Juices suggests that kale may even be beneficial in the role of preventing degenerative diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases.  For additional  information and a different perspective on kale, check out the Kale: Health Benefits, Uses and Risks  article written by dietitian Megan Ware, RDN,LD.  Even if you are not looking for health benefits the evidence has shown that kale can help with weight loss as well.  I am anticipating my own weight loss eating more kale and drinking more water with our Motivational Water Jug! Let’s go get our KALE fix!

Quinoa – The Ancient Protein Wonder

Quinoa has been around for thousands of years and is gluten-free, packed with protein and according to the Ancient Harvest website a nutritional powerhouse.  To me it is a healthy alternative to calorie packed pasta and rice.  I like the nutty type flavor quinoa has and it adds a wonderful texture to salads.  I can’t wait to try it in place of pasta and rice in some of my recipes. To learn more watch the video below.

Take a tour of the Ancient Harvest website to get tons more information on quinoa – from the history on quinoa to recipes and where to buy it.  You can also hop on over to the  Authority Nutrition website to read an article – 11 Proven Health Benefits of Quinoa (No. 1 is Best) May 2016, by Kris Gunnars, BSc (Bachelor’s degree in medicine).  He talks about 11 reasons why we should embrace quinoa into our diets from health benefits to losing weight.

Another good source of information is Jen’s Reviews post on quinoa.  You will find some more facts and delish recipes to try out.

To learn more about powerfoods that are easy to use with awesome benefits visit the cookingdetective.com and read their article on 23 Superfoods To Add To Your Diet For A Healthy Life.

Psst. . . I didn’t realize it until Wiebke showed me how, but quinoa is so easy to cook and much quicker than rice! Just look at the pictures below to tell when it is cooked.

Raw uncooked quinoa on the left. The germ has popped on the right, which means the quinoa is cooked.
Raw uncooked quinoa on the left. The germ has popped on the left which means the quinoa is cooked.

Kale & Quinoa Salads

Do you want to know how to get more kale and quinoa into your everyday meal menu?  We have a start for you!  It is with these two awesome salads!

Fruit-Nut Salad:Kale & Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: Kale, quinoa, apples, mandarins, dried cranberries, blueberries, honey, lime juice, olive oil

  • Rinse 1 cup Quinoa under running tap water, place in pan, add 2 cups water and boil for 15 minutes. You’ll know the quinoa is done when the germ pops out and the quinoa has a translucent color. Cool off the quinoa.
  • In a small bowl mix lime juice, honey and olive oil. Add this to the chopped and de-stemmed kale.  Massage the dressing into the kale (see video).  **See magic note below.
  • Add cranberries, mandarins, apple, blueberries and almonds (or anything that suits your fancy).
  • Finally, add the cooled off quinoa and toss all ingredients together.  Absolutely delish!

Greek Salad:Quinoa and Kale Greek Salad

Ingredients: 2 cups water,1 cup quinoa, 1 cup baby kale (or regular), stems removed, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered, ½ cup cucumber, diced, ¼ cup red onion, minced, 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon salt , ⅛ teaspoon pepper, feta cheese for topping

  • Rinse 1 cup Quinoa under running tap water, place in pan, add 2 cups water and boil for 15 minutes. You’ll know the quinoa is done when the germ pops out and the quinoa has a translucent color. Cool off the quinoa.
  • In a small bowl mix lemon juice, and olive oil. Add this to the chopped and de-stemmed kale.  Massage the dressing into the kale (see video). **See magic note below.
  • Add chopped cucumbers, diced tomato, chopped parsley, sliced olives, diced red onion.
  • Add the cooled off quinoa and toss all ingredients together.
  • Finally, top with crumbled Feta Cheese. And the Greek Quinoa Kale Salad is ready to enjoy!

**Magic Note: This is how the kale is transformed from a cabbage texture to a softer one.  When I am using kale in other recipes or with other food, such as sandwiches, I simply use a small portion of extra virgin olive oil and massage away.

Note: Disclaimer

And there you have it! Two delish kale and quinoa salads to chose from.  For more delish THHB recipes click here. Let us know which one you preferred 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.

May Your Day Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Bible Verse Proverbs 15:17

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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DIY Motivational Water Container – The All Day Pitcher

Do you need that extra motivational tool to help you stay hydrated this summer? We have the perfect solution for you! Learn how to make you very own Motivational Water Jug or as I like to call it “Chug Jug” here! This will help you get those recommended 8 glasses of water in each day.

Hi Y’All,

Come on in and have a seat.  Did you bring your beverage with you?  If not, might I suggest that you checkout our DIY Motivational Water Container directions below.  In the meantime, grab a glass of cool hydrating water and let’s get to it!

Tea for two

Why Staying Hydrated Is Important

According to FamilyDoctor.org, your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work correctly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate joints. Water is needed for good health.

I like the info graphic below from StayingHealthy.org that draws your attention to how water helps keep your body healthy, but it also shares the possible problems you could be suffering if you are dehydrated or becoming dehydrated.  Seriously people, who knew?  Not me, that’s for sure.

Hydrating Body effects

Why It’s Important To Me

After doing much research on the health aspects of continually being hydrated and appreciating them – I also discovered  and more importantly (to me at least) staying hydrated with water keeps your skin looking healthier . . psst. . .  which means looking younger (woohoo).  In addition, water also helps with weight loss (double woohoo for me), by keeping your metabolism in working order. I think between this Motivational Water Jug and The Hard Hat Belles Kale and Quinoa Salads I will be looking at some weight loss (triple woohoo for me) and we hope for you as well!!

I have struggled with my weight just about all my life and you would think that something as simple as drinking water would be enough motivation to get me drinking those 6-8 glasses a day.  Although I like water well enough I still struggle with drinking enough water – how about you?Dddenine and VeeBee drinking infused water

Wiebke on the other hand is great at getting her needed water intake and still she admits that it can be difficult to remember exactly how much she has drank or still needs to drink throughout the day.

Hydrating Solution

For those of you who have a hard time getting those glasses of water  in due to remembering or not liking water. . . We have a solution for YOU! We are going to show you how to create your very own motivational water jug (pitcher, container, bottle etc.).  This project is super easy and has endless possibilities on how you can make it your own.

And because you are so special to us –  as an extra bonus we have included directions on how to quickly and easily make fruit infused ice cubes!  Wiebke and I were both amazed at the flavor that was immediately incorporated into our water glass and it looks so pretty, who wouldn’t want to drink that.Denine and Wiebke Water Pitcher

MOTIVATIONAL WATER CONTAINER INSTRUCTIONS

SUPPLIES NEEDED: Water jug, container or bottle, permanent or wipe-off markers, and your inspirational or motivational sayings to encourage you (you can check out our Pinterest Board to see some of the different choices available).Water Pitcher Supplies

  • Once you have decided on the type of container you are using you will then mark with your markers of choice the levels of each glass of water on the outside of the container. We (THHB) poured glasses of water into the containers and marked them at each level on the container. Wiebke marked hers with times of the day and I marked mine with a countdown of glasses drank.Marking the measured water levels
  • Next, we researched for motivational sayings to inspire us to drink our water. Once we found them we emptied the water out of our containers and proceeded to write our motivational sayings onto our containers.
  • Once the container’s are completed you are ready to start using them.  Note: Wiebke used permanent markers and I used the dry erase (I think the wet erase would have worked much better).

    THHB Bonus: Infused Fruit Ice Cube Recipe

    Supplies needed: Various fruits and herbs, ice cube tray, and water.Variety of fruit for ice cube trayPrepare your fruit and herbs by cutting and chopping them to the size of your ice cube tray.Fresh fruit and herbsAdd water to the ice cube tray covering the fruit and herbs fully (this will prevent freezer burn of uncovered fruit and herbs if left in freezer for an extended length of time).Water filled ice cube trayPut into freezer until frozen through.  Enjoy!frozen fruit ice cube trayDisclaimer

    To watch more of our fun DIY 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 Proverbs 15:2

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

THHB Logo