… of winter can do a number on the skin. Do you adjust how you shower? You should. Frequent long, hot showers can dry out the skin, leaving it red, irritated and inflamed.

A five- to-seven-minute shower with warm (not hot) water is best, and many people find they are good to go showering every other day. Moisturizing body wash is better than harsh bar soap; the bar soap can remove necessary oils from the skin.

In addition, it’s better to shampoo less frequently. Skipping a day is OK. If your hair is slightly oily, reach for a dry shampoo. Shaving through the winter? Make sure skin is gently exfoliated and plied with a rich shaving cream.

Finally, gently pat the skin dry with a soft towel; don’t scour the skin harshly. Apply a creamy lotion that absorbs into the skin.

– Heloise


Shopping for and wearing vintage cotton T-shirts and clothes is cool and fun, but sometimes the clothes can have a musty, dank and clammy smell. The fix is easy: Launder with 2 cups white vinegar and dry thoroughly. Store in a low-humidity environment.

FYI: To remove an old hemline crease from clothing, dampen the crease line with a cloth soaked in white vinegar, then press with a moderately hot iron.

– Heloise


We use our blender a lot this time of year; freezer-section frozen fruits can mix with yogurt and almond milk to make delicious smoothies. However, I have trouble keeping the blender clean — all those seeds! Help?

– Julie B., Fort Wayne, Ind.

Julie, don’t panic — it’s not hard. Put two to three drops of liquid dishwashing detergent in the blender, and fill halfway with water. Turn the blender on for just a few seconds, then rinse. No more strawberry seeds!

– Heloise


Pulverized flavored salad croutons make a wonderful coating when baking chicken.

– Pat in

Massillon, Ohio


How do I make those newspaper logs for the fireplace that I remember seeing in your column? It’s been a while, and I’ve forgotten.

– Hal in West Virginia

Hal, to make newspaper fire logs, you’ll need to roll several newspaper sections up (no color comics or shiny advertising inserts) and insert them into a tin food can that has had both ends removed. Soak the “logs” in water and let them dry completely. (This makes it more likely the paper will stay together when burning.) Then use the log like a regular wood log. Be aware: The burning paper will produce more ash than a wood log.

– Heloise