By: Reena Nerbas

Dear Reena,

Our concrete driveway is full of cracks and we are wondering if you can give us advice on how to repair them. Millie

Hi Millie,

To repair cracks in the driveway: Begin by cleaning the area. Patch with crack-filler (a caulk-like compound), available at home-improvement stores. After applying the compound, smooth the area using a putty knife. For extra traction on the driveway, spread sand onto the wet sealer before it dries.

For larger areas use cold-patch compound. Follow product directions, more than one layer may be needed. Flatten the patch by laying a piece of plywood over the repair and drive over it several times. (Taken from Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets)

Dear Reena,

What is the easiest way to remove corn from the cob? Please also provide me with an easy way to butter corn cobs. Loved your show, thanks for all of the great hints and tips! Brookelyn

Dear Brookelyn,

Stand the corn on the cob in the hole of a Bundt pan. Hold the cob steady and use a sharp knife and make long downward strokes on the cob, separating the kernels from the cob. If you are worried about scratching your Bundt pan, drape a paper towel inside the pan to protect the pan. To smear butter on the cob with ease, spread butter on a piece of bread and wipe the cob with the bread. Or melt butter in a bowl and use a pastry brush to “paint” the cob.

Dear Reena,

I love to bake but now that my children are grown and gone. I want to bake batches of cinnamon buns ahead of time and freeze them. Is this recommended or will the buns be ruined? Thanks, Darren

Dear Darren,

Prepare unbaked buns as normal and freeze. Remove buns from the freezer the night before your guests arrive and place them on a cookie sheet. Cover with a loose, damp towel. They will thaw and rise. Bake in the morning.

Hey Reena,

Can you give me a homemade recipe for ketchup? Also, how do you store commercial ketchup? Lacey

Dear Lacey,

Stir together 1-12 ounce can tomato paste, half cup frozen apple juice concentrate (thawed) and 1 tbsp. white vinegar. Stir in three quarter cup water, 1 tsp. paprika, one quarter tsp. salt, one quarter tsp. ground thyme, half tsp. garlic powder, half tsp. onion powder, one eighth tsp. ground all spice and one eighth tsp. ground cumin. Refrigerate three hours and use.

Due to the high acid content, commercial ketchup can be stored at room temperature but most people agree that it tastes better when refrigerated. Homemade ketchup needs to be stored in the fridge.

Dear Reena,

I just moved into a brand new house and am looking to purchase a new coffee table. What is a good height for a coffee table? Sincerely, Mavis

Great question Mavis,

While modern coffee tables can be as high as 25 inches and as low as 11 inches, the standard height for a coffee table is 16 inches.

Fabulous Tips of the Week:

  • Whip cream with less mess. Poke the beater ends into a piece of waxed paper large enough to cover the top of the bowl. Whip as normal.
  • When “pills” develop on clothing (small wads of lint) use a rough piece of steel wool, run it over the material and the “pills” disappear.

Presenting Home Sweet Home workshops acrossCanada. If you would like Reena Nerbas to visit your area and present an all day workshop, please call 204 320 2757 or email:

Reena Nerbas is a highly popular professional speaker and author of the national best selling series, “Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions”, “Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets” and “Household Solutions 3 with Green Alternatives”. I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming! Check out my web site!

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Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.