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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

How to Make Decadent Chocolate Bowls for Your Valentines

Pr 24:13-14

Hi Y’All!

We are so excited for Valentine’s Day!  A Day for L-O-V-E!  Thanks for taking the time to stop in at our neck of the woods.  We love having you come visit and sit a spell.  So grab your special beverage, pull up a seat and let’s discuss Valentine’s Day and what it means to us.

Tea for twoWe could discuss the history and why or when Valentine’s Day got it’s start, but seriously, who cares anyway.  I just appreciate the day for what it represents. . . . . .  a time to celebrate the loves in my life.

I love this quote by Ann Landers:

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”

Isn’t that true for all our relationships?  Those that love us and those that we love – love finds a way to forgive regardless of those imperfections that make us crazy.  For instance I know my husband, Bill, was by no means perfect and the man could make me nuts over crazy stuff, but I was so mad with love for him!  I love my kids – all five of them and my grandkids and yet they are not perfect – but the love we have for each other is.  And yes, each person that I love in my life can and does make me crazy with their imperfections at one time or another….but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  With that said, I also know that I am way from perfect and am thankful that my family and friends love me in spite of my own personal brand of craziness.
As you go about  celebrating your special Valentine – whether it  be sweetheart , child, friend or sibling may YOU be blessed with love yourself.
Now on to the REALLY good stuff – C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E!!  I am all over this blog (I am a self professed chocoholic) and our video on How To Make Chocolate Bowls using water balloons was amazing fun!  And just for you we also added a bonus on how to make the Sunk in Chocolate Strawberries.  Enjoy!!

 

F

Chocolate Decadent Valentine’s Day Bowls

These are the items you’ll need

  • Blown up balloons – size depends on what size bowl you want
  • Chocolate candy melts – you can use a wide range of flavors
  • Wax paper – we put our wax paper on a cookie sheet for easy transport
  • Microwave-safe bowls – size depends on how much chocolate you are melting
  • Microwave oven
  • Spoons – for stirring and decorating
  1. Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups of white candy melts. Microwave on full power for 60 seconds and then stir. Continue to microwave at 20-second intervals until melted. Make sure to stir each time. Ours was a little overdone, so careful on the timing. It seems the white melts need a shorter time than the milk chocolate.
  2. Place about 1 cup of dark chocolate candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on full power for 60 seconds and then stir. Continue to microwave at 20-second intervals until melted. Make sure to stir thoroughly each time.
  3. Next drizzle a little of the dark chocolate over the white chocolate. DO NOT STIR.
  4. Dip a balloon into the drizzled chocolate mix. You can dip it as deep as you would like. Pull it out and let extras drip back into the bowl, then place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper to set.
    Dipped in Chocolate Balloon
    Œ

    We found that we wanted a thicker bowl, so we took a spoonfuls of chocolate and drizzle/smeared more chocolate on the balloon.  An alternative is that you could let the chocolate dry a bit and re-dip it.

  5. Continue until you have all balloons done. You may need to drizzle more dark chocolate on top as you need/want it.
  6. Place them in the fridge so that they’ll harden in just a couple minute. This is where the cookie sheet came in handy for easy transport.
  7. Now that the chocolate has set, gently squeeze the balloons to release them from the chocolate. Then, using scissors make a
    Popping the balloon
    Œ

    small hole and peel the balloon out of the chocolate bowl.Deflated balloon

**Disclaimer/Disclosure: Please be careful whom you share your chocolate bowls with as the balloons are latex and could be harmful to anyone with a latex allergy.  We had one of our (orange) latex balloons leave some residue inside of one of the chocolate bowls. Latex left behindPlease see the rest of our disclaimer/disclosure here.

To see our step-by-step directions in action, please check out The Hard Hat Belles video here.

Our Special Bonus

Sunk In Chocolate Strawberries

(or chocolate covered strawberries)

Chocolate covered strawberry
Œ

These are the items you’ll need

  • Strawberries – Cleaned and if desired remove the tops (we liked ours with the tops left on).
  • An ice tray or mold – we found that the silicone square cubes we used were hard to remove the chocolate sunk strawberries, so make sure the removal will be fairly easy.
  • Chocolate melts – again, the flavors all depend on what you like to use.
  • Microwave-safe bowl – is size dependent on how much you are making.  You will find that when you use a mold, you will use a lot more chocolate.
  • Microwave
  • Spoon – for stirring.
  1. Place about 1 cup of dark chocolate candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on full power for 60 seconds and then stir. Continue to microwave at 20-second intervals until melted. Make sure to stir thoroughly each time.
  2. Pour some of the chocolate into the mold without filling it full.
  3. Place strawberries in each molded cup. If they are quite a bit larger than your molds you may want to cut them to size.Peonie and Chocolate
  4. Pour more melted chocolate over the strawberries filling the molds to the desired depth.
  5. Place mold in refrigerator until completely firm, which will make removal easier.

To see how we made our chocolate sunk strawberries in a quick mini video, please click here.

ENJOY!!

To get updates on The Hard Hat Belles blog please fill out the form (above at the top and to the left)to subscribe to The Hard Hat Belles blog.

If you haven’t already checked out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles,” you can find us at our YouTube channel TheHard Hat Belles.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases.

If you have any comments about on how your chocolate bowls turned out, short cuts or 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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Fun, Simple, Quick Valentine’s Day Craft – Tile Plaque

Bible Verse Proverbs 18:24Welcome back to The Hard Hat Belles way to DIY (do it yourself) and LIY (learn it yourself).  Do it, learn it and laugh!!

If this is your first visit, you are in for a treat! Please grab your favorite cup-of-stuff, sit back, kick your feet up and enjoy.Tea for twoI love Valentine’s Day – don’t you? Although I think each day should be Valtentine’s Day.  Seriously, it shouldn’t take just one day a year for us to acknowledge or love on our loved ones whether it is a husband, boyfriend, friend, kid, mom or dad. We should do it everyday that we have with them.

I think I am especially sensitive to this since I lost my husband a little over a year ago.  I wished I could have hugged him more and told him more how much I loved him…..how special he was to me.  We didn’t spend 32 years together just because we had to; it was because we cared and loved one another.  We were partners. Not mine or yours, but ours as that old Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda movie went. Life is tough enough when we go it alone, but in this business of living together and raising a family as one unit their needs to be a partnership as God intended.

Okay – I am going to rant a bit if you want to put your hands over your ears right now. I don’t understand some of today’s generation. This mine or yours stuff….never ours?  You know what I am talking about – it usually revolves around money –  separate checking and saving accounts. Or you each have YOUR own bills to pay – separately. Or buying groceries separately with YOUR own money.  I am not saying all relationships are that way, but I have run into this mind set within my own family, friends and contacts.  It’s crazy if you ask me.  God created us to be dependent on each other. Can you just picture Adam telling Eve – That’s not your rib, it’s mine and I want it back?  Or it’s your fault I ate the apple so you deal with this problem – it’s not mine! Or Eve telling Adam since he ate the dang apple he can suffer all those ridiculous labor pains! Hilarouious, isn’t it. It shouldn’t be your money or my money – it should be our money regardless of who is making it and paying the bills.  It is those tough times as well as the good times that build the relationship into a lasting memorable one. Those battles that are unique to “our” relationship. If we are not partners and we start with a “mine” or “yours” how can we make things work out for the best “together?”

Just a quick unpaid for plug – The Dave Ramsey Financial Plan is awesome.  Wiebke and I both went through the program with our husbands at different times and it really made a difference in how we each looked at finances and our spouses.

Anyway, enough about my thoughts and onto some really fun crafting time.  These Valentine Tile Plaques are super easy to do alone, with a friend, your child or grandchildren. Wiebke and I had a blast!  Check us out HERE.

Do you like Pinterest and Google?  Sometimes, we come across ideas on Facebook that one of our friends will have posted and we just have to give it a try.

Peonie, Wiebke and I LLLOOOVVVEEE to check out Pinterest or Google when we are looking for ideas or ways to do something differently and then of course we put our own unique spin on it.  The Valentine’s Day Tile Craft is one such idea.  We checked out a few different Pinterest and Google ideas and put our own unique spin on it.  We hope you love it as much as we do.Peonie Barbie Wannabee and PlaquesThe instructions for the Tile Craft are listed below, but first we did find a few things we tried that did and didn’t work out (failed).

  • We tried the rolling pin idea that someone else posted to roll out the bubbles the paper makes…..complete fail as it tore the paper while it was wet with Mod Podge.
  • We really liked using the hot glue gun to put the buttons on as it dried really quickly and we could build on the design.  I just recently used a “cool” glue gun at my son, Jason’s house for a craft with my grandkids and I think that is my new favorite thing to use.  I was forever burning my fingers with the hot glue gun as I was always in a hurry for instant results.
  • For faster drying results a fan on the project will definitely cut down on your drying time.  Can you tell I like things done quickly?

Now on to the actual crafting (rubbing my hands together).

 ITEMS YOU WILL NEEDValentine's Day Tile Craft Supplies

Ceramic tile – the size is up to you.

Scrapbooking papers – use your imagination (tissue paper, gift wrap, construction etc).

ModPodge – you can purchase it or search Pinterest/Google for homemade.

Bling/Ribbons/Lace – This is where you can get really creative (buttons, beads, various ribbons, gems, small fabric flowers etc).

Sponge brush (we found that this leaves less streaking on craft projects).

Hot or Cool Glue Gun (you can also use tacky glue or white school glue – it just takes longer for drying period).

Scissors (you can use a variety of different cutting styles and tearing techniques).

Acrylic Spray Sealer (optional).

Please use caution when using the hot glue gun, scissors and acrylic spary sealer. Please see disclaimer here.

  • Cut one sheet of scrapbook paper(s) to the size of the tile. You can use different sizes of paper to create a unique design as well. You can be creative and use special scissors or even tear it.
  • Cover the whole tile with Mod podge, using a sponge brush. Place the paper on top of the tile.  Press out all the bubbles as best as you can.
  • Cover the scrapbook paper(s) with another layer of Mod Podge and let it dry for about 30 minutes.
  • ŒAttach ButtonsUse a hot glue gun (or your choice adhesive) to attach buttons, lace, bling etc. to the tile.
  • If you want to add a sealer, you can use an acrylic spray sealer to finish off the tile, however that is optional as the Mod Podge seals very well on it’s own.
Completed Craft Tile
Œ

To get updates on The Hard Hat Belles please fill out the form (above at the top and to the left)to subscribe to The Hard Hat Belles blog.

If you haven’t already checked out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles,” you can find us at our YouTube channel TheHard Hat Belles.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases.

If you have any comments about this craft, short cuts or ideas, please let us know below in the comments.  We’d love to hear from you.

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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