Category Archives: About Us

Summer Break, Improvements, Education & A Better Schedule

Is your time getting away from you?  Need more of it? Have you ever felt a need to rejuvenate or needed a really long break?  Or did you need to take time to regroup, rethink some of the plans you have made or needed to make improvements in your life, business, or family?  Come see what we are up to now and how we are handling it!

Hi Y’All,

Welcome! Grab a beverage and come on in and sit a spell.  Wiebke and I are up to some mighty (out of the ordinary for us) plans and time solutions that we just can’t wait to share them with you.

Tea for two

What, When, Where, & Why

Even though winter was lllooonnnggg in Michigan, summer just seemed to rush up on us before we knew it.  School let out, kids home, vacations, canning, field trips, relaxation and the list goes on for the summer.  That doesn’t even include the everyday things that need to get done like laundry, cleaning house, grocery shopping, cooking, errands, repairs and home maintenance and that list also goes on and on and on.

What should we do?  That is one of the nice things about being the boss – we can determine and make executive decisions that work for us.  So, we thought long and hard……

We came up with a win-win solution for Wiebke, myself and YOU! What? We need to find more time?  When? Now! Where? The one place that we could find some give in – our business and mission “The Hard Hat Belles”.  Why? We need to carve out more time in our lives for our family and loved ones and for everything we want to accomplish, but we also want to work on improving our business  – THIS ALL TAKES TIME, TIME, TIME.

Ideas and Improvements

After burning all our brain cells up we finally came up with a solution we are excited about and we hope you find useful too.

Something has to give! One place we scheduled more time from was our business.  Instead of a weekly YouTube and Blog release we are going to film, produce, and edit one video per month.  We have found that each video takes roughly 10 hours to script/film and coordinate and sometimes up to 18 hours to edit and that is only if things run smoothly (which there are always glitches). So what can you expect from us? On the first Friday of the month you can expect a wonderful new style and shorter video from us.  With that extra time Wiebke is Mischievous Wiebkegoing to be working on learning new techniques for filming, editing and spending time with her son and husband.  She wants to take this time out to get better educated in videography. This will allow The Hard Hat Belles to possibly create a couple of channels/playlists with super short DIY/LIY videos on just recipes, Pinterest  flops/successes or crafts – the sky is the limit.  We are still thinking and marinating on that one.  Any suggestions?  Drop us a note in the comments below.

I  will also be limiting our blog releases to once a month – released the same time as our one video.  However, there Happy Denineare other ideas in the works.  I will not be sitting around eating bonbons and reading romance novels…nope, I will be reading about social media, Pinterest, WordPress, monetization and attending webinars to learn more about blogging and how to reach more individuals and give you all what you want!

But to accomplish all this we need your help with ideas on what YOU want to learn or do or see.  Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page – we really do care.  After all -our business is to entertain and teach YOU!

How Can We Help You Find More Time

Does your day just disappear from you? Does time disappear? Feeling overwhelmed? Need help prioritizing ? We also had that problem. In addition to the changes we are making in our business we are also making changes within our “whole” lives.  Clock

I have learned how to schedule my days using an hourly planner allowing for time interruptions and those things that “just pop up”. I schedule all things I want to get accomplished for the day and set a timer on my phone to signal when my time is up to work on those tasks.

While Wiebke and her son, Sidney, who is off school for the summer, are both using day planners in order to get what they want done each day, which gives them a feeling of accomplishment.  This also, allows Wiebke to keep track of how Sidney is spending his day (not just on electronics…blahhahahah).

I have also found that making lists are also a great way to help keep me sane and on track. I make all kinds of lists: groceries, chores, tasks, organizational…..When I make my lists I start with the three most important items that I want to get done on each one everyday.  It keeps me focused and the time stealer away.

We have scoured the web for ideas and have created some really good boards on our Pinterest site to help you.  Everything from being organized, summer schedules, to being productive and more.  Check it out you won’t be disappointed.

Wiebke and I both love Ruth Soukup of LIvingWellSpendingLess.  We own some of her books that have been very helpful from working smarter not harder to unstuffing, purging and organizing our homes and ourselves.  She is a great resource for getting practical advice on managing your time.  I especially like her tip about getting your FROGS out of the way first thing each day – this really does help set the tone for the whole day.  See what she has to say about your FROGS in her article on Filling The Time Jar.

One thought I want leave you with – By purging my house and garage of “stuff” I have less to handle and clean.  I am by no means finished, but you can start small as I did one box, area, or room at a time and eventually it will be done.  Work your way through it by donating, throwing it out or selling the stuff that swamps you.  This makes cleaning, organizing and upkeep easier, less time consuming and less stressful.

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 HOPE

Bible Verse Matthew 11:28

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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In The Beginning The Hard Hat Belles

Hi Y’all!

We are so excited that you decided to stop by our small area of the web.  Grab a coffee or tea (coffee for me, please) and sit a spell as you get to know us just a little bit better.

Time for tea with THHB
Time for tea with THHB

I promise this story on how Wiebke and I gave The Hard Hat Belles it’s start has a happy, ongoing ever after.

September 1, 2014 – Labor Day.  A day I personally will never forget.  It is the day my loving husband of 32 years, Bill, passed away from prostate cancer.

I can’t remember exactly, but it was either the day he passed away or the next day that Wiebke called and TOLD me, yes told me (wait until you get to know her better), that she was coming over to help in any way she could.  At this time Wiebke and I knew each other through the North Branch Wesleyan church I attended.  She was nice and I was nice, but it was more an acquaintance type relationship; not really close.  You know the kind, right? She didn’t know much about my family, nor I hers.

Later, she shared with me that she felt she needed to be with me during this time, so she couldn’t give me an option.  You see, the previous year in September Wiebke had lost her Mutti (mother).  She was still grieving, yet she came to me and served me during my time of sorrow.  She prayed with me,  helped get the house ready for relatives and gave me a few chuckles along the way. I love that woman!

Thereafter, we would get together on Wednesdays and console and help each other out.  We felt we could be ourselves with each other during our grief.  For some reason Wednesdays worked for us; so Wednesdays were “our” day.  During the first few months she would come to my house, but after that we switched between our two homes.  Goodness knows we had enough projects that needed doing between us.

Replacing a motor coupling on my washer
Replacing a motor coupling on my washer

There would be a lot of laughter as we tried to do things on our own, which we didn’t always know how to do.  We did a lot of Google and  Pinterest searching and YouTube watching.  Sometimes we couldn’t find any help and we would make it up as we went.  And sometimes we had complete failures….but always laughter.

Do you remember the I Love Lucy Show?  Ethel and Lucy would get into the most unusual hysterical fixes.  Yep, that was, is, and probably will always be – us!

Our unknown beginning at a women's retreat we both attended.
Our unknown beginning at a women’s retreat we both attended.

As we continued this way, we kept saying to each other, “if anyone saw or heard us right now they would laugh themselves crazy.” Laughter is healthy – right!  After saying that about a hundred times we both thought – why not?  Why not make others laugh while learning?  Why not do something that we could glorify God with?  We both have bachelor degrees and are intelligent woman (okay, most of the time), surely we could figure out how to do this YouTube video blogging thing.  Oh, and by the way we were going to be ready to roll out in May 2015.  NOT!

That was all in February of 2015, this year.  Little did we know how little we really knew.  We were ambitious and we were going to roll out our little video world in May and stay sane – not happening, wasn’t going to happen and didn’t happen.  Yep, just a few months after we decided to launch a YouTube channel and blog site.  Ah…..nope, I repeat – that didn’t happen!!

As May approached we realized how little we actually knew.  We filmed our very first episode all by ourselves and it STUNK!!  No kidding and laughter aside; it was pretty bad.  With the little knowledge we had (enough to know we didn’t have it) we still knew it was bad….really bad…..really, really bad.

So, back to the drawing board.  What do we need to do to make this happen?  We did research and more research.  We took library video classes.  We read books. We watched a lot of YouTube videos.  That’s where we met our VB (virtual boyfriend), James Wedmore.  He taught us a lot and he is definitely easy on the eye (wink, wink).

It began with two women
You gotta have your Sweet Belle tools!
You gotta have your Sweet Belle tools!

We started buying only the necessary items we needed to produce a semi-sort of-hopefully professional video – you guessed it – on a zero budget.  Wiebke started focusing on the video portion and I focused on the blogging.  We figured we could cover twice as much ground twice as fast.

However, we did not factor in that we are both menopausal and our memories also stink.  So we did a lot of note taking…stay tuned as we might do an episode on how to avoid carpel tunnel…and moved forward.

Our go-to photographer
Our go-to photographer

We met Tyler, our video editor, through a very good friend, Danielle (our unofficial photography consult – nope she didn’t know it at that time).  I contacted Danielle because she owns her own photography business that also produces wedding videos.  She had to know more than us or at least we hoped so.  And she did! She knew Tyler, a freelance videographer , who worked through her business; Danielle Leach Photography.   Danielle contacted him for us and gave us his phone number.  Poor guy, he just didn’t know what he was in for.

Well, I gave him a call and set up the appointment to meet at my house with him and Wiebke.  That young man was awesome, he took us right under his wing and showed us how to use video and audio programming and equipment.   I remember our first filming session where he laughed as hard as us and shaking his head said  “man’s greatest asset gone feminine.”  Five months later we do most of the filming of our shows all by ourselves.

Peonie Barbie Wannabee
Peonie Barbie Wannabee

As we continued to gain steam in our new adventure (and our creative juices started flowing) we added Peonie “Barbie” Wannabe to our team and she can really get in some fixes! Just you watch and see.  Peonie has a story all her own about how she became a part of our team, but that’s another blog.  And of course we needed JC, who does her own interpretation of the southern belle voice over for Peonie.  Sidney is our animator for Peonie and supplies more laughs with his stop motion antics. He is hysterical.   We recently added Ashley to our team as our Social Media Expert  (she likes to be behind the scenes) as us “wise woman” (we never say old),  would be lost in the world of social media, (another challenge for another day).

As we look back on where we started and how far we have come we are amazed!  It truly is a God thing, as there is no way in this world we would  ever have come up with this idea or done this all on our own.  When we would get discouraged our mighty God came through for us and provided the help we needed each step of the way.  Each person on our team was absolutely placed there by the grace of God and has been a true blessing to The Hard Hat Belles.  Never think you are too “wise” to learn, because each person on our team has taught us  a lot in their own creative area.

Cupboard Organizing
Cupboard Organizing

By now our creative juices are really flowing and we kept rethinking, “what else could we do or add to make The Hard Hat Belles special.” We knew we wanted to find a way to glorify God and share His love with others through our videos in a sharing caring way. But we also didn’t want to be obnoxious about it as we really have good things to share with others.  So, why not do something special for God as He has blessed us in so many ways. So, we added a Bible verse to every video we do.

During this whole journey we have both felt strongly that God has led us on this very special path which has been a mantra for us;  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD.

God's Work Jeremiah 29:11
God’s Work Jeremiah 29:11

It really is a fun way to close our videos with.  We pray and hope you will continue to enjoy our videos with laughter that will encourage, educate and brighten your day.  For tons of laughs keep in mind that we will add our Menopausal Retakes at the end of each video.

Well, that’s our story.  We are so glad you stopped in and would love to know what you think.

To continue to receive notifications about the next roll out of our videos and blogs, please share and like our video channel TheHardHatBelles and sign up for our email alerts  in the top right corner of this blog.   This allows us to let you know when we roll out new videos.

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COME CHECK OUT OUR PREMIERE

Behind The Scenes
For a taste of The Hard Hat Belles, click the link below to view our “Behind the Scenes” premiere video

We would love for you to attend our premiere, but we know you are a super busy person — so you can view our video premiere right here.

Please enjoy yourself and we’d love to hear your comments.

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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