Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Colourful Cupcakes

By Reena Nerbas

Flat Pop

Dear Reena,

I always purchase 2-L pop bottles because they tend to be cheaper than buying small bottles. I only drink a little pop every few days; is there a way to keep the fizz in pop instead of pouring flat pop down the drain? Alex

Dear Alex,

After opening a 2-liter pop bottle, pour most of the pop into smaller one liter bottles. Cap the bottles and the pop will stay fizzy longer. Doing this decreases the amount of air space in the bottle and less carbon dioxide is released.

Drying Pillows

Dear Reena,

I often throw my pillows into the washing machine and then the dryer. They take forever to properly dry and since they are drying slowly, they carry a musty odor. Any suggestions? Marcus

Dear Marcus,

Add half cup white vinegar to the wash before washing pillows. Toss a few tennis balls into your dryer to speed up the drying process. With winter just around the corner, you will have opportunities to toss pillows (both bedroom and living room) outside. Leave them for 24 hours to kill bacteria.

Using Tissues

Dear Reena,

Does it matter how many times I blow my nose into one tissue before throwing it out? Silly question, but I had to ask. Carolyn

Dear Carolyn,

This is one of those questions that you can ask 100 people and get 100 different answers. According to you should only blow your nose once into a tissue before discarding it. Using the same tissue repeatedly risks putting germs back onto your face and hands. Some people use a tissue once and then turn it around and use the other side before discarding it. Extra Tip: To teach a child how to blow his/her nose; light a candle and have him/her blow it out with his/her nose (make sure it’s not on someone’s birthday cake at the time).


Dear Reena,

Is hummus healthy? Thanks Max

Dear Max,

The name hummus comes from the Arabic word, chickpeas. Hummus is typically comprised of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), citrus juice, tahini paste and olive oil. There are many variations and some companies include additives. Classic hummus is low in cholesterol, sodium and sugar and high in fiber, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. Upon purchase, check the label for the healthiest choice.
Feedback from Readers who Care:

Re: Ugly toilet water stains

Dear Reena

I am responding to a letter from Leona regarding her well water problem. I am a city girl who moved to the country. My mother-in-law worked in rig camps some years ago and tried a product with the hopes of no longer having to replace toilets, the product name is Sparkle (Sobeys/IGA). I use it once a week; at first the stains were so bad it took a lot of scrubbing. Now my toilet stays clean with very little scrubbing. But be careful because I did sit the bottle on the counter and it left a stain. Hopefully this will help other readers. Thank-you, Bev

Re: Watermarks on furniture

Hello Reena,

Been there, done that – oil of camphor works like magic on furniture water stains, wipe it on wait five minute and wipe it off. Camphor is available at drug stores as well as on-line. Trev

Smart Tips of the Week!

·        I have the world’s best solution for making leaf clean-up easier! Run your lawnmower over the leaves without a bagger. This will break up leaves and create small pieces. Run your lawnmower over the yard once more, this time using a bagger. You will notice that what normally would have filled ten garbage bags will only fill about two. Throw the small amount of leaves into your compost and add to your soil next year! Submitted By: Sabine

·        Impress your friends with rainbow cupcakes! Mix together a recipe of white cake batter and divide the batter into 4 or 5 separate bowls. Use a variety of food gel colors to color each bowl of batter. Spoon a little of each batter color into muffin cups until each cup is two thirds full. Use white muffin cups so that guests can see all of the rainbow colors. Submitted By: Marie

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