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Filtering by Tag: trick

Ironing is about Attitude

Suzanne Pollak

One day, a very long time ago, one of the top magazine editors in the country, along with his family, happened to be staying with me. He wanted to know where I kept our iron and ironing board, telling me unashamedly that he enjoyed ironing his shirts (or at least he did then.) He shared his ironing tricks; explaining that there was nothing to it: just pay attention to the collar, cuffs, and strip with the buttons. No one saw the rest of the shirt anyway. This man — a haughty, brilliant, intellectual with his finger on the pulse of everything everywhere — did not turn his nose up at ironing. 

So why did I? I am ashamed to confess that I believed ironing was a waste of time. For years I collected antique linens but paid others to iron. Now, I iron myself, and I enjoy it. My ironing sessions are for afternoons when I am doing heavy brain lifting, and need a distancing mechanism. Sherlock Holmes used his pipe smoking and violin playing. A knotty problem for Holmes was a 'three pipe problem'. My equivalent is two dozen linen napkins.

I plug in the iron; remove the linens from the refrigerator (more on that trick in the video below) and find the back and forth of ironing soothing, contemplative, and surprisingly rewarding. In no time at all, my mind disengages enough to solve the weighty problem, plus I have a pile of lovely linen napkins ready and waiting. Like a Battalion Commander planning an exercise, I feel that one detail is completed for a dinner party in the future.

There is something so satisfying seeing the pieces of cloth go from wrinkly to smooth. Near-instant gratification!

XO The Dean

Save Your Silver

Suzanne Pollak

Believe it or not, Thanksgiving -- even Christmas -- is right around the corner.  Whether you have two pieces of silver, or two thousand, the Holidays present the perfect opportunity to put it to use.  (If you aren't using your silver at all, the Dean says time to sell!)

Simplify your life.  Go ahead and check polishing off your list with this quick, easy trick utilizing aluminum foil.  It doesn't need to take all day, or even an hour.  Your silver will be shiny as new in minutes, less time even than takes to down a glass of wine.  Why not?

Full Disclosure: There is a rumor floating around on the Internet that silver will tarnish faster using this method.  We say, who cares?  We're just trying to make it through New Years without passing out from sheer exhaustion.  In the name of brilliant advanced planning, short cuts are A-OK with the Academy.