Getting fruity

Dear Readers: The first Tuesday in October is National Fruit at Work Day. Fruit is defined as the edible part of a plant, derived from a flower.

Fruit is a delicious, all-natural snack option that has no added sugar or calories, is high in fiber and provides a boost of energy to ward off the afternoon slump.

Not a fan of the usual fruits? Eggplant, avocado, squash, tomatoes and olives are all considered fruit! It’s time to get healthier with some fruit for National Fruit at Work Day. So whether you’re working at home or the office, snack on some delicious fruit. — Heloise

P.S. Freeze some blueberries, strawberries or raspberries in water in the ice cube tray for a fruity iced tea garnish.

Using every drop

Dear Heloise: When I change the water in my dog’s bowl, instead of throwing out the old water, I pour it into my hanging plants on my patio. Since drought is becoming more of an issue, it makes me feel better to conserve every drop of water that I can. — Mary in California

Mary, I couldn’t agree more. Water is precious in so many areas of our country. — Heloise

Giving stains the rub

Dear Heloise: I wear suede shoes and have found that the rough texture of stale bread is perfect for gently buffing out light dirt stains on the suede. — Greta in Ohio

Greta, gentle is the operative word; test a hidden spot first. — Heloise

It’s in the bag

Dear Heloise: For my son who’s off for his first year in college, I’ve given him lots of advice, of course, and doing his laundry was right up there.

I suggested he sprinkle a bit of baking soda on his laundry (especially gym clothes — yuck) in the laundry bag. Then, come wash day, the clothes will come out cleaner and fresher. — Maria S. in Pennsylvania

Maria, it’s so good that you are passing along the benefits of having a box of baking soda around for doing laundry. It’s also a wonderful, nontoxic, safe alternative to expensive commercial products and can be used for cleaning and freshening all through the house.

I’ve compiled a collection of my favorite baking soda hints and recipes into a handy pamphlet. Would you like to receive one? It’s easy. Visit to order, or send a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope along with $5 to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Chances are, microwave use is very popular in dorm rooms, but cleaning them may not be. For an easy, quick way to remove spills and odors from a microwave, put 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 cup of water in a large, microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 2-3 minutes, until the water boils and steams up the microwave. This will soften the spills, making it easy to wipe out the interior. Be careful; when you first open the door, the steam will be hot. — Heloise

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