Category Archives: DIY – Do It Yourself

Winter Car Kit – Winterizing Your Car for Emergencies

I got stuck in my own driveway this winter…..grrrr.  Only a few feet from my garage where I would be nice, toasty and dry.  But no . .  . I. Got. Stuck.  Seriously, all I would have needed was some sand or cat litter in my car and I could have gotten out of it by myself.

Hi Y’All,

Brrrr. . . I hope you’re staying toasty warm this winter.  Grab you seat and a nice hot beverage and let’s learn how to put together a decent (not overwhelming) emergency kit for your car this winter.Tea for two

One good thing came from me being stuck – it could have been worse and now I can get my act together and put together a decent, possibly life saving, EMERGENCY WINTER CAR KIT.

The Container

The container is important.  It will represent you and your needs.  Do you need a large one? small? or do you want to purchase a custom made one?  Does it need to be soft thermal or a hard cooler?  Just remember that you will want to leave the “DO NOT REMOVE” container in your car all winter (& possible switch it out- for the summer as well).  Wiebke used a soft medium sized thermal container and I just went with a trusty cardboard box.  One that i can stick in the back in a corner neatly boxed.

Six Basic Items

Emergency Winter Car Kit

After much research we found that there are six basic (or core) items you need in order to be prepared for emergencies.

  1.  Kitty Litter
  2. Water
  3. Blanket
  4. Candle
  5. Lighter
  6. Food

The What & The Why

Winter Car Kit Emergency Core Items

Kitty Litter (or sand if you prefer),  doesn’t have to be an expensive brand (I actually prefer the cheaper brands) which you can pick up for a buck or two.  Kitty Litter can be used to help you get out of situations where your car may be stuck in the snow or on ice.  When you sit in the snow and spin your tires without  traction this can make the area too slick for the tires to find traction. The Kitty Litter (or sand) could provide just enough traction thrown under the tire, for the tires to get a grip and pull your car out.

Water is important to sustain life or in other words, we cannot live without water.  If you are in a stranded situation you can use the water to drink and stay hydrated, make a cup-of-soup,  tea or hot cocoa (if you also pack it), clean wounds, or replenish a radiator that may have ran out of fluid.  To learn how to keep water from freezing check out the Survival Mom article On How to Keep Emergency Water in Your Vehicle Unfrozen During the Winter.

A Blanket is a necessity to staying warm and dry. Wiebke likes a wool blanket and I prefer a microfiber blanket as I have found them to retain heat.  The reason they retain heat is because of the tightly knit fabric. You can use a blanket to cover you and stay warm within your own body heat longer or if you get wet because you tried to get yourself out of being stuck in the snow, you can use the blanket to change out of your wet clothes.

Candle can be used to provide warmth, light, or as a possible heating element if you include a vessel safe to heat in (I included a ceramic coffee cup in mine).  In addition, you will want to make sure you have a fire safe container to place the candle in.  I like the jar candles as they are all inclusive and if needed I can place a fireproof cup/can on top to heat.

Lighter – This one is kind of obvious as you will need something to light the candle.  You could use matches as well.

Food is a necessity and distraction against hunger. Ideally, you will want to pack high protein energy food/snacks that will hold up to freezing temperatures.  But, if your like me, I am lucky to have snacks healthy or not that will weather a freeze.  Some ideas include, but are not limited to: granola bars, chips, cookies, raisins, mini candy bars, those crackers with peanut butter or pack some peanut butter and crackers separately.  You get the idea.

The Extras

Winter Car Kit Extra Supplies

Now you could just stop at the basics, but if you have a family or travel a lot you may want to customize some extra items for your Winter Emergency Car Kit.  I included in mine a book to read (my distraction if I am stuck), those little nifty hand warmers, a portable shovel (if I get stuck more than my kitty litter can handle) plus I can take it camping, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, tooth brush/paste kit, and a ceramic coffee mug.

The Point

Seriously, this kit is very easy to put together.  You probably have all the items in your home already. It doesn’t matter how you create your very own Winter Emergency Car Kit, the point is that once you get it into your car you will be prepared for winter driving.  Just remember this could possible save your life and those of your loved ones, but at the very least it could provide a distraction while waiting for a tow truck or rescue.

Warmer Weather Emergency Car Kit

When warmer weather comes to your area remember to upgrade your kit.  You will want to refresh your food and water supply.  Possibly change out your candle if it is a loose one as they can melt to a blob in a warm car.  I, personally have a candle in a glass container with a lid to serve me in all seasons.   Instead of hand warmers you might want to make a change to a battery operated fan.  Instead of hot coca try changing it to some instant flavored beverage like Gatorade, Crystal Light or Kool-aid.  I believe you are getting the idea.  Make it yours for whatever season you find yourself in.

Disclosure

Want More of Us?

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 below to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the time of one?

May Your Days Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Psalm 121 7&8

Love & Hugs,

Denine & WiebkeTHHB Logo

What God Wants For Christmas Story

Tea for twoDo you know what God wants for Christmas?  To find out watch all seven videos…no cheating, watch them in a row to reveal a beautiful story about What God Wants For Christmas!  So grab your beverage, a seat and your kids (or any you can borrow) and let’s get started!

Disclosure

Want More of Us?

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 below to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the time of one?

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Merry CHRISTmas Everyone!

Love  & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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School Snacks & Storage: Make ahead for a week

Do you hate coming up with new snack ideas or figuring out how to store them?  Do you need some ideas to make school snacks for one week? Check out this video & website to find how we did it!

Hi Y’All,

We are so happy to see you here with us today.  Please grab a seat and your fav beverage (mine of course is decaf coffee with French vanilla creamer-Yum).  What will you have?  We are going to explore the world of snack making for younger kids.

Tea for two

To Quiz or not to Quiz

Are you seriously ready to start making those snacks a week ahead?  Do you have ideas of what to start with?  How to package them so they stay fresh for a week?  Check out this quiz link below to see how ready you are.

Morning School Rushes

Don’t you just hate it when you are running late in the mornings and you have to pack up lunches and think or grab some snacks?  Sometimes you’ll strike gold and others will be a total flop because you forgot to go shopping?  snacks

For a sure fire way to be prepared we have compiled a few snack ideas below to help you on your way to becoming a snack pro.

NOTE: Remember you want your children to eat the snacks.  Healthy would be great, but you also know what they will and will not eat and it is important to keep that in mind when you work on creating snacks for a week.

School Snack Ideas

We found that the small condiment containers work best for children.  They are inexpensive, kids don’t have to worry about returning them home and best of all – they fit the little hands perfectly.  They can be found at most grocery stores in a variety of sizes. We used sandwich size zip locked baggies with the small condiment containers.  We also found that designating one spot in your refrigerator and pantry for school snacks using a container (shoe box, Rubbermaid, etc) helped cut time searching for the snacks when you need them.

**Note: Why do we only show you 4 snack ideas?  Because now it is time for you to create the 5th one to finish out your week.  We are confident that after reading this blog and viewing our video that you will be ready to start creating your own weeks worth of school snacks!

Apple Slices and Peanut Butter/Nutella etc

apple slices

To keep apple slices fresh for a week soak the apple slices in a strong lemon water and place them in the baggie along with the dip.  My granddaughter loves Nutella, but peanut butter is a big fan also. You can mix up the snacks with different types of apples (Gala, Fuji, Yellow Delicious, Macintosh) and the same goes for the dip (nut butter comes in many flavors, Nutella, Greek Yogurt).

Carrots and Ranch Dressing

Carrots

Carrots also come in different shapes already pre-cut (shredded, chunks, tiny baby or regular baby cuts) if you want to provide variety and save yourself some time. We used ranch dressing, but any dressing will work that are not too liquidy.  You can also use yogurt, humus, peanut butter, flavored cream cheeses.

Salad Cucumbers and Greek Yogurt Dill Dip

Salad Cucumbers

Salad cucumbers are nice as they can be held in the hand to dip.  A perfect size for a small fist.  But hey, don’t rule out regular cucumbers either.  They can be cut up into a variety of sizes and shapes to entice your child to eat them.  We paired these salad cucumbers with our very own Greek yogurt made in a crock pot. The dip is our very own recipe of adding some dill and lemon juice to taste (yum).  These salad cukes can also be paired with a variety of dips as well – previously listed above.

Pretzels and Humus

pretzels & humus

Our final suggestion here is pretzels and humus.  Pretzels come in many different sizes, shapes and flavors and paired with the perfect humus – even your little one will eat it.  Humus comes in a variety of flavors that can be found at your grocers.

Disclaimer

Perfection

No matter how you rated on the Quiz, perfection in the snack area comes with knowing your child, what they will and will not eat and yet challenging them to try different flavors, shapes and sizes.

We found that designation one container on the shelf in your pantry and one in your refrigerator will keep your snacks organized for the week.

So whether you have one child or several all you need to have your snacks ready for a whole week is  sandwich zip baggies, small condiment containers, dips and the main snack. For more ideas check out our School Snack Before & After School Pinterest board.

We’d love to hear your suggestions – what snacks do you find work best with your children?  Store bought? or Homemade?

Want More THHB??

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 below to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the time of one!

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MAY YOUR DAY BE SPENT

INSPIRING HOPE

Psalm 18:32

 

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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Organization Project: Homework Caddy or Quiz?

Have you ever taken one of those quizzes to find out what type of personality you are or in which state you should live or who your soul mate is? Well, today I’ll have you take a quiz on how organized you truly are. In the process of finding out how organized you are, you will also learn some very funny things about me (Wiebke).

Hi Y’All –

Glad to see you.  Come on in, grab a cup and sit a spell and find out what happened in the Papenfus household on the first day of school this year and see how you pass or fail the Organization Back To School quiz.

Tea for two

One of the reasons I decided to take on writing for the blog about our episode on “How to Organize School Supplies in a Handy Homework Caddy”, is because I totally failed the OFBTS Test this past week! And if you don’t know what the OFBTS Test is, you have already lost one point….

Denine and I always look at the calendar ahead and then make a decision on what we should film, based on holidays or other milestone marker moments. So when we decided to film this THHB episode, “How to Organize School Supplies in a Handy Homework Caddy”, we had all the mothers and fathers and kids in mind who would want to be able to complete homework in a stress-free environment.

But first you will have to get past the quiz, to find out if you should attempt to get organized or not.

So here is the quiz:

Organization For Back To School Test

AStressed VeeBee

1. The OFBTS in the OFBTS Test stands for:

a. Organization For Back To School Test

b. Obsessive Following Better Trade Skills Test

c. Olaf Fries Blended Tomatoes Slowly Test

d. Orientation For Bulky Time Sensation Test

2. You usually have all your kid(s) supplies for the next school year bought:

a. Before school is out for summer break.

b. In the middle of summer break.

c. Why buy their own if they can borrow from their classmates?

d. After your kid(s) has been back to school for a couple of days.

3. You always have the school’s calendar written into your calendar or entered onto your digital device:

a. For two years in advance.

b. In the week before school starts.

c. What? The school has a calendar?

d. Don’t know that your kid’s school started, until your friend                  posts a picture of her kid’s first day of school on Facebook.

4. When your kid has orientation at his school you show up with:

a. Your calendar, your husband’s calendar, your digital device,                  your kid’s digital device, a variety of pens to color code your                    kid’s classes on your family’s organizational calendar.

b. Your purse with lipstick, your wallet, and a smartphone.

c. Why go to orientation when you could go to Starbucks?

d. Your husband, your sister-in-law visiting from South Africa                  and your purse filled with receipts from your vacation.

5. The dress code for hair at your kid’s school requires short back and sides haircut for boys. Your reaction:

a. You make sure that your son follows this dress code all the                  time, even during summer break.

b. You allow your son to have crazy hair during summer break,                but make sure it is up to par at least a week before school                        starts back up.

c. Huh? When did that rule come out?

d. You make a once-in-a-lifetime decision to let your son grow               out his lovely locks, and realize that he has to go to school                         with long out-of-control hair on his first day back to school,                     after you realize it actually is his first day of school because a                   friend posted a picture of her kid’s first school day on                                 Facebook.

6. You realize that it’s your son’s first day back at school, only after seeing a friend post a lovely picture of her kids on Facebook. It is 7:50 am, your son’s school starts at 8:15am (and you live 40 minutes away from the school). You realize your son isn’t even awake yet because you, your husband, your sister-in-law and your son were up until 12.30am playing “Sequence” and taking a personality quiz. You also realize that your son has no supplies ready, very long unruly hair and his school clothes need to be ironed. What you do is:

a. Call the school’s attendance line and tell them he’ll be tardy.

b. Start running around like a chicken with its head cut off and               throw random school supplies in your son’s backpack, all                         while making lunch, ironing his clothes and waking him up.

c. Why should he attend school today if you actually planned to             go blueberry picking with him and your South African sister-                   in-law?

d. Tell your son to “zip his lips” while he is eating breakfast and               trying to converse with your South African sister-in-law, who                 is sitting drinking coffee and looking totally confused at all                     the commotion around her.

Okay, I guess by now you’ve seen a pattern! If you answered mostly “a”, you are too organized to have read this far. If your answers were mostly “b”, you are right on target. If most of your answers were a “c”, you need serious therapy, and if your answers were mostly “d”, your name should be Wiebke! All of the things described in the “d” parts of the quiz happened to our family the first day of the new school year. We are planning to get more organized in the future with our very own amazing Ruth Soukup planner as to NEVER have a repeat of this year’s chaotic first school day (psst..we are not paid for this plug it is just a very pretty and practical planner – see below).Wiebke's Living Well Planner

By the way, after my husband and son left via their low-level-flying machine (my husband’s car), I sat and just laughed hysterically for an hour while drinking my very large cup of coffee!

We at The Hard Hat Belles hope that our quick organizing tips will make doing homework easier for you and your kids. Check out all these ideas you can use to make your very own homework caddy.

How To Make Your Very Own Homework Caddy or StationCreate a homework station

  1.  The first rule is to use your imagination – then gather your supplies. It doesn’t matter if they are new or what you have around your home or office.

2.  Think about your needs and those of your student.  Several little or big baskets or containers can be made in to one using zip ties.  For more information on zip ties check on our Amazingly Simple Zip Tie Hacks video here.

3.  Assemble baskets and supplies together.

Mini Homework Caddy

Basket Office Supply Station

Large Homework or Office Supply Caddy

Disclaimer

You are now prepared to conquer your homework struggle of finding supplies!

Want More THHB??

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 below to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the time of one!

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MAY YOUR DAY BE SPENT

INSPIRING HOPE

Bible verse Proverbs 15:32

Love & Hugs,

Wiebke & DenineTHHB Logo

Watermelons – Wacky Uses and New Recipes

Did you know that National Watermelon Day is celebrated on August 3rd?  We found some Wacky ways to use watermelon that are just too good to keep to ourselves.  From healthy recipes to beauty treatments – Come see for yourself!

Hi Y’All,

Welcome to National Watermelon Day celebrated The Hard Hat Belles way!  Grab your drink and a seat and we will show you some unusual ways to use watermelon that will amaze you!

Tea for two

Watermelon Fun & FactsWatermelon & THHB Hat

It’s kind of crazy but we didn’t find out about National Watermelon Day until a week ago.  You see we filmed our video in May in anticipation of summer recipes; but once we did we had lots more fun finding out about the history of the watermelon. For instance – did you know that the watermelon originated in Africa?  Or that the first recorded harvest was 5,000 years ago in Egypt?  Check out more fun facts and info at the International Business Times website.

Seriously, Watermelon Music??

We also found some fun and cool watermelon MUSIC – oh yeah!  Share this with your family and friends it will get them up and dancing for watermelon!

Sound Off Issues

We are so excited to share our new finds with you! But first I want to let you know that we had a crisis on set when filming.  The original plan was to film us lounging at the beach sharing all these wonderful ideas with you, but God had other plans and our sound completely crashed.  However, we didn’t crawl in a hole and scream (okay, just a little), so we pulled up our boot straps and came up with a  “voice/film over” as if reminiscing about our spa day.  We hope you enjoy our fix to our sound off issue!

Watermelon, Beauty Treatments and Healthy Recipes Oh-MyCutting a Watermelon

We love watermelon, but what we love more is finding new ways to use ordinary items or food.  After much research and testing in The Hard Hat Belles kitchen we came up with some recipes for a facial mask, hand & body scrub, watermelon steaks, watermelon pizza, watermelon smoothie and freezer letter cubes.  We hope you have as much fun making and using them as we did!

Note: We used one watermelon to make all of these yummy ideas! And all the recipes are edible and safe – YES including the facial mask and hand & body scrub (very yummy indeed).

Watermelon SteakGrilled steak ingredients

 

Ingredients  you will need: Seedless watermelon , 1/2 cup of your favorite balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Mix vinegar, oil, lemon juice. Place watermelon steaks in a glass dish.Watermelon Cut Steaks

Add the marinade mixture. Refrigerate 20 minutes, turning watermelon halfway through marinating time.Watermelon steak marinate

Grill watermelon steaks over high heat 2 to 4 minutes per side or until grill marks appear, brush on leftover marinade. You can use an outdoor or  indoor grill.

To serve, cut watermelon steaks in half. Drizzle with reserved 2 tablespoons marinade.

Watermelon Body & Hand ScrubWatermelon Hand Scrub Ingredients

Ingredients you will need: 1 1/2 cups white sugar, 2 tsp poppy seed, 1 tsp lime juice, 1/4 cup watermelon juice (blender works wonders), 1 tsp  lime zest, 1 tbsp olive oil.

Combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed. The zest and olive oil are optional. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week. Shake or mix before each use.

To exfoliate your hands or when you shower, take a handful of scrub and gently rub on the skin, rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

Watermelon Facial MaskWatermelon Mask

Ingredients you will need (not the actual mask as displayed in the picture above:o):  2 tsp watermelon mush, 1 tsp honey, 2 tsp of our Greek yogurt recipe.Watermelon Face Mask Ingredients

To get The Hard Hat Belle recipe on How To Easily Make Greek Yogurt In A Crock Pot click here.

Combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed.  Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week. Shake or mix before each use.

Gently apply onto the face (avoiding the eyes).  Let rest on face until dry,  rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Fresh and shiny!

 Watermelon PizzaWatermelon pizza ingredients

Ingredients you will need: Watermelon, cottage cheese, blueberries, coconut, chocolate sauce, mint leaves – make sure to add your own favorites!

Cut your watermelon slices at least 1″ thick.  Cut into triangular pieces.

Using the tip of the knife carefully cut a slit into the side of the watermelon slice in the same direction as the length of the rind.

Insert Popsicle stick into the slit.

Mash the cottage cheese slightly.  This will allow the other ingredients to adhere to the watermelon pizza better.  An alternative to the cottage cheese mash is to use our Greek Yogurt recipe.  To get The Hard Hat Belle recipe on How To Easily Make Greek Yogurt In A Crock Pot click here.

Top with blueberries and coconut.  Drizzle chocolate over the top and sprinkle chopped mint leaves on top.  This healthy dessert is best served immediately. Unbelievably yummy!

Watermelon Smoothie

Ingredients you will need: Watermelon, our Greek yogurt recipe, orange juice, cranberry juice, banana(s), blueberries and of course a blender.

Note: There is no exact measurements here, just measure according to your tastes.

Add the liquids first i.e. cranberry and orange juice.

Add our Greek Yogurt and blend briefly.  To get The Hard Hat Belle recipe on How To Easily Make Greek Yogurt In A Crock Pot click here.

Add blueberries and banana and blend well.

Add the watermelon last and blend to your desired consistency.

For more of a slushy beverage add ice cubes.  Add a straw and enjoy!

Frozen Watermelon Shapes

Ingredients & supplies you will need: Watermelon (scraps work very well), and desired metal cookie cutters.

Place the cookie cutters in the disired position. Press firmly and evenly on the cookie cutter.

Place in freezer for roughly 30 minutes or until frozen.

Note: We used them on our smoothie glasses to tell whose was whose glass, however when we went to put the “D” on mine we neglected to cut a small portion out of the bottom to allow it to slide onto the glass and it split.

Disclaimer

Want More?

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 below 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

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

Washing Machine Not Working? Check Out This Easy Common Repair

Is your washer making a loud noise all of a sudden and doesn’t agitate or spin out the washer water?  We have a common solution for you – replacing your drive coupling yourself!  No big repair bills or being without your washer for what seems like forever.

Hi Y’All!

We sure are glad you are here to sit a spell.  Go grab a cup of your favorite beverage and a seat and we will tell you all about a repair we did on my washer.

Two Teens + Washer = Broke Washers

I don’t know if you have this problem or not, but I have had to replace more washers than I want to count over the last five years. Of course they weren’t new washers, but they were decent washers. I miss the days when my brand new washer that was purchased early in my marriage that lasted over 15 years.

I blame my problem on two teenagers who detest doing laundry and would continuously overload the washer (making it work way too hard).  I think the basis of their theory was – the more you put into a load the less loads you had to do (don’t worry about whether or not it comes clean or if all the laundry becomes one color). Geeze, I have even gone so far as to give individual instructions, directions, and draft a laundry Do’s & Don’t list.  Nope – didn’t work.

The last two washers I have owned I have had to replace them with other (always with prayers) used ones since money has been tight. But finally, I had to figure it out on my own as I couldn’t afford even another used washer or to hire a repair person – seriously, I could just buy another used one for the price of service.

Common Washer Repair

Slide1 (4)

Since my funds were limited and I really detest hauling all my laundry to the laundry mat – I was determined to figure out how to repair the washer myself.

After much research on the internet and watching a ton of YouTube videos – I found out that my type of top load washers (at least the last two) have direct drive.  This means they don’t have a belt that operates the motor.

With direct drive motors there is a safety feature that keeps the motor from being destroyed – meaning big bucks to pay out for repair or purchase. The repair is a drive coupling replacement. The drive coupling (aka dog bone), is made of two plastic pieces that interlock from both sides into the one rubber piece.  When the washer is overworked the plastic pieces will break causing the drive motor to stop working (agitating/spinning).  This will cause the washer to sound loud and noisy and will not agitate or spin the water out of the washer.

If your washer is draining the water and not spinning or agitating –  the odds are that you need to replace the drive coupling.  Come with us and we will show you how simple it is to do.

The Good News

This repair is fairly inexpensive and really a super easy fix.  Hey, if I can do it, then just about anyone can!  Once you get into a top load model washer (mine is a Kenmore),  I was surprised at how simple they looked.  There really isn’t too much in the parts department to them. Through Youtube I was able to study the anatomy of the washer, diagnose my problem and then purchase the correct drive coupling.

Order The Correct Part

You need to make sure that you order the correct part for the washer.  I purchased mine through Amazon, but first I had to find out what part number I needed.  I did this by going to Drive Coupling SetApplianceRepair.com to find the part number.  They are a great company and I have ordered other parts from them for other equipment, but for this piece Amazon was cheaper.  I simply entered my brand and model number and voila – I had my part number to cross reference at Amazon.

Once you receive the part you are ready to repair the unit.  I do have to say that the first one I replaced was done in the confines of my very small laundry area and there was a lot of strange contortion happening on my part.  The second one I did I put in the garage on saw horses and the repair was much easier and quicker.  I was able to stand or sit to do the repair.  I opt for the latter from now on!

Boldly Repairing On Your Own

Most importantly whether you repair in the laundry room or a roomy garage PLEASE unplug the washer from the wall.

Another big help for me was using my cell phone to take pictures before I unhooked everything to show me exactly how it should look when I put the parts back together.  Believe – you will not remember and then you will wonder what the heck you thought you were doing!

My washer that we filmed was a Kenmore as was the second one and they both took the same repair.  The only reason I had to do the repair on the second one was that the transmission went out on my first washer and it was cheaper to get another used one.

TOOLS & SUPPLIES NEEDED: New drive coupling kit,  flat-blade screw driver, philips screw driver,  5/16 nut-driver, hammer, ½“ socket and goggles (not shown). Disposable gloves are optional (not shown).Required tools

  • Remove the two console screws on each side.Console Screws
  • Using a screwdriver, pry off the metal console to cabinet clips located on each side of the washer under the console.  They may come off by themselves if they are worn, if not carefully remove them using a flat tip screwdriver.Metal Console Clips
  • Flip up the console and disconnect the electrical lid switch. The clear/white connector sticking up from the washer. No judging on the dust and dirt.  Disconnect the electrical switch connection
  • First check to see if you need to unscrew or just slide the washer cabinet off.  If needed, unscrew all screws on rear of panel, to enable you to remove cabinet from rear panel.
  • Rock the cabinet away from rear panel and lift it off the locating tabs.  You will want to make sure you lift it clear of the water dispenser (located in the back) otherwise you may get it snagged taking off the console and have to make another repair.
  • Once the washer cabinet is removed you should see something like this. Pretty naked without it’s clothing/cabinet:o)The naked washer
  • Use a screwdriver to pop off the two spring clips (shown above), which hold the water pump against the motor shaft. Don’t remove the hoses or clamps. The pump will slide forward off the short motor shaft and out of the way. I held it back with a rubber band to keep it out of my way. Bending the hose slightly will not harm it.Stabilizing the pump
  • The wiring harness can be removed before or after the motor is removed. Remove the plastic wiring harness from the motor using a flat tip screw driver.  This will unlock the little clip holding it down. Grip the harness firmly – you may have to tug firmly to remove the harness.  Do not jerk or pull hard.  Slow and firm.
  • You will see the motor which is held in place with two similar, but larger clamps as the white pump above. There may be two screws securing the clamps to the base of the motor. If so, remove those screws. And then pop the clamps off with a flat tip screw driver.Washing machine metal motor clamps
  • The motor can now be removed by wriggling it toward the front.Removing the motor
  • Use the screwdriver blade to remove the old white plastic coupling from the motor shaft by prying under it gently. Pieces of the broken drive coupling may come off. In your drive-coupling replacement kit, there are three components: 2 couplings and one rubber union. Replace it with one of the new plastic couplings and  use the 1/2″socket as a press by placing it over the center of the coupling and tapping   it onto the shaft, taking care not to damage the three little prongs. You want to make sure to have the center piece flush with the shaft. Drive coupling attached to the motor
  • Facing you, on the transmission is the other plastic coupling and rubber union, which you will remove and replace with the two new pieces. Remaining Drive coupling
  • The motor can now be re-installed, taking care to line up the three prongs with the remaining holes in the union. This can be helped by rotating the motor shaft slightly while holding it up to the coupling. Also, note that the four rubber caps on the motor mount must match up with the four indents on the frame. Once the coupling is engaged, apply the clips & screws to the motor.
    Reinstalled motor
  • NOTE: By the time I replaced my second drive coupling kit it was easier for me to center the plastic coupling piece to the piece on the transmission, eyeballing it and then I guided the motor back onto the transmission using the four outside rubber caps (bumpers) as my guide.
  • Hook up the wires, install the pump and you’re done!Dust bunnies and Peonie
  • PS NOTE: The pictures are a mix of my last two washers, but I wanted you to see the similarity and get the differences.

Disclaimer

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 Psalm 18:20


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

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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.

SAFETY FIRST!

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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QUICK AND EASY APRIL FOOL’S DAY PRANKS N’ TRICKS

 

Hi Y’all,

We are just having a huge laugh here at The Hard Hat Belles and we are glad you can join us.  Go get that cup-o-stuff that gets you through the day and grab a seat and let’s watch Wiebke at her April Fool’s Day pranking best.

Tea for two

April Fool’s Day Prankster

Wiebke loves April Fool’s Day as it allows her to get even crazier than her normal fun loving crazy.  I was out of town last year, but I am sure she has something waiting for me this year.  So, I plan to be on the lookout!

I have to say that I feel for her husband, Kevin and her son, Sidney.

Cereal and Bug Prank
Wiebke literally put bugs in and resealed the bag and box

Wiebke has told me about some of her past antics and it just cracks me up.  The one I love the best is the amazingly look alike dog poop prank she found on Pinterest.  Wiebke and

Cereal and bugs galore
Poor Sidney

her sister, Burni took cardboard toilet paper inserts and made them to look like dog poop.  They preformed this maniacal act the night before while all in the house were safely (or so they thought) tucked in bed.  As they created their magic dog poop prank in the quiet of

Eggs and vegetables made with a few simple ingredients
Eggs and vegetables made with a few simple ingredients

the night there were no witnesses to be found as to why they constantly snickered.

After creating their devious magic dog poop and adding some water for extra effect, they placed it right next to the refrigerator.  Wiebke (April Fool’s prankster #1) knew her husband’s routine so well – so she placed the evidence where he wouldn’t quite notice it, but where it would be within his foot traffic.

A Family Breakfast
Family meal of fake  chicken wings, baby carrots and celery

When Kevin got up for work the next morning and went to the refrigerator ……. yep………he stepped in it.  Well, let’s just say that their poor dog got the first brunt of his reaction (verbally), while Wiebke laid in bed rolling with laughter.

Over the years she has pulled her April Fool’s Day pranks on her family and any susceptible victims she could and can find.

This year we wanted to share this very quick and easy fake bacon and egg meal with you.  This is guaranteed to be a hit with your family after you prank them with it!

VeeBee and Ddenine eating fake eggs

April Fool’s Day Fake Egg Prank Recipes

For the white chocolate miniature eggs you need:

White chocolate egg
Miniature white chocolate and yellow M&M Peanut egg

White chocolate candy melts or bark, yellow M&M’s (we used the peanut M&M’s, but they now have these really big over sized M&M’s), spoon, wax paper or parchment paper, baking sheet, microwavable bowl, and  a microwave oven.

  • Cover a baking sheet with wax paper.
  • Add ½ cup white chocolate melts (or bark) to a microwavable glass bowl.
  • Next, stick the bowl into the microwave for 30 seconds on high, stir and repeat at 20 second intervals until all chocolate has melted – you want it to be a very liquid texture (warning – be careful not to overcook it).
  • With a spoon, apply a mound of white chocolate onto the wax paper. Making sure it is shaped like a fried egg.  We swirled the white chocolate to shape (as no egg is perfectly centered-or at least not mine).White chocolate egg white
  • Add a yellow M& M for the yolk slightly off to the side pressing lightly.

Place M & M into Fake egg white chocolateWhite Chocolate Fake Egg Prank

  • Wait for the chocolate and M&M to get firm then remove carefully.April Fool's Day Prank removing fake egg

For VeeBee’s healthy April Fool’s egg you need:

Yogurt & apricot egg
ŒYogurt & apricot egg

A plate, a spoon, some Greek yogurt, and canned apricot halves.

  • Spoon the Greek yogurt onto a plate, shaping it into a fried egg white shape.
  • Place the apricot half on the “egg white” shape.  You will want to look for the best “egg yolk” looking apricot half.

Special Bonus: Fake Bacon Recipe

You will need:

Caramels and mini Tootsie Rolls (adapted from Pinterest pin-stop in here to get the link – they have awesome step-by-step pictures to show you).

  • Take one caramel and one Tootsie Roll.
  • You can warm them up or let your hands do the job.
  • Place the caramel on top of the Tootsie Roll.
  • Roll them together.
  • Slice them lengthwise.
  • Place them together side by side
  • Roll them one final time
  • Form them to look like bacon.

April Fool's Day Prank with fake bacon

Extra Special Bonus: Miniature Fake Egg Recipe for Peonie

A super small skillet or plate (or even put them on cupcakes!), a spoon, some Greek yogurt, and mini yellow M & M’s.

  • Spoon the Greek yogurt onto a skillet or plate, shaping it into a fried egg white shape.
  • Place the the mini yellow M & M on the “egg white” shape slightly off to the side for a real look.

Fake egg with M & M's and Greek yogurtPeonie's April Fool's Day Prank fake egg

Disclaimer

Whether you plan to trick, prank or just have fun with your family and friends (big, little, or super little), these recipes are sure to be a hit once they get over the fits of laughter.

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 so we can keep you up to date on what we have been doing.

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Please let us know how your April Fool’s Day pranking went below in the comments or you can post them to our Facebook page by clicking here.

Prv 8:11

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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Install Floating Vinyl Floor Planks Yourself In A Snap

Psalms 86:11

Hi Y’all –

Thank you for gracing us with your presence.  We are so happy that you stopped in for a second or two here at The Hard Hat Belles.  Grab that drink and a seat and let’s see what Wiebke has been up too.

Tea for two

Well…. Wiebke and her family decided it was time to rip out their old linoleum floor in the kitchen and also the carpet in their living room and dining room.  I’m telling you they really got ambitious because they decided to replace it themselves!!!

They did their research to find the best bang-for-theLumber Liquidators-buck and decided to replace their floors with floating vinyl planks that they purchased at Lumber Liquidators. The flooring they chose comes with a 50 year warranty – how cool is that!

They also picked up their supplies there as well, which included the underlayment, and masking tape.  That simple … well you will need a couple of tools, but not much more. Supplies To get the full PDF instructions on “How To Install” the floor they installed check the link out here.

Wiebke and her family are so happy with their floor – how easy it was to install and how it looks.

Dining Room Floor

Wiebke was so very happy that she created a special poem about the flooring.

The Summer of Floor Surgery

By Wiebke

There once was a family with old carpeting floor.
It was dirty and grimy and they wanted it no more.
Their kitchen floor was a vinyl base worn.
They also wanted for this to be reborn.
Vacuuming FloorSo in the summer of the year 2015.
They ripped it all out with the help of two teens.
They cut and they ripped, they ripped and they cut.
Until they had exposed their house’s gut.
But now they had to make a decision quick.
Of the flooring choice they had to pick.
They chose a 50 year warranty floor in Sycamore.
Lumber Liquidators supplied the new vinyl planking floor.
The underlayment they with scissors cut off.
And side by side they laid it – just enough.
Then they clicked the vinyl planks into place.
They kept on going until they had filled the whole space:
The kitchen, the dining room, the living room they completed.
Even the hall way they finished until the planks were depleted.
The vinyl plank flooring they edged, clicked and taped.
The husband with a roller blade saw some corners shaped.
The family got the whole floor done in two weeks or less.
It wasn’t too difficult for them they’ll confess.Living Room Floor
If you want to see what they used and how to do this real quick.
Click on the Lumber Liquidator link or on this pic!
Of course The Hard Hat Belles did their part as well,
So go to their video and try doing this project with a pal!

Watch our Floor Planking Video here!

To get updates on The Hard Hat Belles blog please subscribe here: [wysija_form id=”4″]

To watch more of our videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or you can find us here The Hard Hat Belles.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases.

If you have any comments about your replacements or other ideas, please let us know below in the comments.  We’d love to hear from you – truly.

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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