Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Decorating the Office for Christmas

By Reena Nerbas

Glue on Jeans

Dear Reena,

How can I remove sticker glue left on new jeans? Jean

Hi Jean,

The easiest solution is to scrub the residue with an old toothbrush and rubbing alcohol.

Cleaning Tile and Grout

Dear Reena,

A friend has purchased a home with tile and grout everywhere and says both are very dirty. Looking for an easy and effective cleaning process. You have helped us in the past and I’m hoping you can do so again; fingers crossed. Linda

Dear Linda,

Get yourself a handy little piece of pumice stone. Pour some dish soap onto the pumice stone and wet it, then scrub the grout; looks wonderful. Next spray isopropyl alcohol onto the grout to prevent mildew from growing and discoloring the grout (keep away from small children). Another option is to make a paste of borax and water, scrub grout with an old toothbrush.

Feedback from Reader:
Re: Stuck Jar Lid

Karrie asked you about easy ways to open a stuck jar lid. A colleague of mine passed along this tip which has rarely failed me. Place a wide rubber band (the kind mail carriers use or the ones that hold veggies like asparagus in bundles) around the lid and then try to unscrew it. Works almost every time!! Colette

Cream Puffs

Dear Reena,

How can I make perfect cream puffs and prevent them from sinking after they are taken out of the oven? Manuel

ANSWER – A perfect cream puff is definitely a work of art and here are a few tricks to getting them perfect every time. After you stir the water, salt, butter and baking powder together, turn up the heat and bring the water to a full rolling boil. Turn the burner to low and dump the flour mixture in all at once, stirring it together with a wooden spoon. Once mixed, remove from heat. Let the dough cool for 20 minutes before adding the eggs one at a time.

Total time for beating each egg is about two minutes. Test your dough by lifting out a spoonful and dropping it on top of the rest of the dough. If it stays on top and maintains its shape, it’s ready to bake. If not, beat it some more. Drop the dough by large spoonful’s onto a cookie sheet. Don’t crowd the puffs. They should be at least three inches apart. If you want to make mini puffs, drop small spoonful’s on sheets — 15 to each sheet. Without opening the oven to peek during baking, bake at 400 F for 20 to 25 minutes for large or 15 to 20 minutes for mini puffs. Finished cream puffs should feel firm to the touch and appear golden brown. Remove the cream puffs from the oven and pierce the side of each one with the point of a sharp knife (to remove moisture from inside puff); this is not necessary for mini puffs. Cool puffs on a baking sheet, careful to keep them away from drafts. Fill with something delicious like: whipped cream, tuna, chocolate, coffee whipped cream, chicken salad, vanilla custard, salmon or crab mousse. Delicious!

Decorate Your Office in Time for Christmas:
  • At the company where I work, I formed 1000 Post-it notes onto the wall in the shape of a Christmas tree. I stuck a paper star on top. Without even requesting it, staff started writing encouraging holiday messages to other people in the office. This has increased morale during a difficult time of year for some of us. Larissa
  • Since I am working through the holidays I decided to make the most of it. I shaped cardboard into a house and a gingerbread boy. I completely transformed my cubicle into a gingerbread house. I bought battery powered lights and used different coloured paper to decorate the house. I glued candy onto the cardboard and added a table with a big bowl of candy on it for employees to snack on. So fun and such a great way to bring a smile onto so many faces. Cameron
  • We always have an office decorating contest at work and this year I actually won! I used white paper to cut out fancy snowflakes; I hung 50 of them around my desk and it actually looked like a winter wonderland! Clara


Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website: Ask a question or share a tip at




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