Protect your purse at events

Dear Heloise: I don’t think I’ve seen this tip before: I’ve started folding up a plastic grocery bag as small as I possibly can, and I put it in my purse before sporting events. Then when I get to my seat, I remove the bag and put my purse in it, so when I put the purse under my seat, it stays clean. Hope this helps someone else. — Cammie Brantley, San Antonio


Dear Heloise: Whenever I travel, I pack a pair of night-lights to place around the hotel or motel room. If someone has to get up during the night, it helps prevent them from tripping over something in a dark and helps them find their way around an unfamiliar room.

I leave the packaging where it can easily be seen so I don’t forget to pack them in the morning. It’s also a good idea for when you’re staying somewhere overnight while visiting friends or family. — J.L., via email


Dear Heloise: While some Mexican vanilla is made from tonka tree beans, this is not the real, good stuff. True Mexican vanilla is made from the processed seed pods of the vanilla orchid, which is a different kind of orchid than the one Madagascar vanilla is made from. The process for both is very similar.

And not all American vanilla extract is made with vanilla beans. Some are synthesized flavorings, which are supposed to be labeled as “an imitation of vanilla.” — Tom Cain, Fort Wayne, Indiana


Dear Heloise: Many of today’s beauty products are applied with brushes, but some are flimsy and inefficient. I have found that the best way to apply powders, foundations, etc., are with a man’s shaving soap brush. It is sturdier, more compact and easier to use. It’s less expensive, too. Try it, ladies! — Jean Milici, Torrington, Connecticut


Dear Heloise: In response to your hints about what to do with old landline phones, you can also purchase an adapter that allows you to receive calls from your cellphone on your landline phone for more comfortable chats. — F.V., via email


Dear Readers: If you have several old plastic tablecloths with a flannel backing that you are not using much anymore, you can repurpose them instead of throwing them out. Here are some ways they can be repurposed:

— Use them to make drop cloths to protect surfaces during art or painting projects.

— Line the bottom of a tent or the inside floor of a doghouse with the flannel side up.

— Reuse them as covers for outside mowers, barbecue grills or riding toys. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: We have a large family and a lot of grandchildren. When we have get-togethers, I always have snacks ready for the younger kids when they get hungry. I save every yogurt cup, wash it out and fill it with instant pudding or a gelatin dessert. The snacks are tasty, but not so filling that it ruins their appetite for the next meal. — L.V., in Utah

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Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.


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