Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

An Easy and Elegant Start to Your Morning.

The Master Bath
I’ve always been a morning person, bounding out of bed and into the shower, singing a song, contemplating a good wet shave and mentally laying out my wardrobe for the day.

“Mornings,” grumbles the Marvelous Ms. E, “are Hell.”

And that seems to be the crux of the issue. Either you are a morning person or you most adamantly are not.

Admittedly, with the added responsibility and demands that come from having two small children, even my patience is stretched. More often than not I am the one who is getting the children ready for the morning commute to allow my wife more time to put on her face and wonder if her outfit is too… something, or if it’s inappropriate for a language teacher at an all boy’s school….

There doesn’t seem to be the kind of time necessary to really enjoy the first glimpse of sunrise over the rooftops of the townhouses across the street.

But Soft… What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks?

But that’s just our situation. If you are still fortunate enough to have a little leeway after the alarm goes off, enjoy it. If you are not a morning person, here are a couple of suggestions to make the transition to early afternoon less jarring. Sort of a softer landing for the first 20 minutes of your day.

• Ditch the alarm.

Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? I usually wake up before the clock radio goes off, but when it does, it doesn’t scream at me. It doesn’t implore me to BUY NOW AND SAVE LIKE NEVER BEFORE. It doesn’t insult me or threaten my ‘ho’s. Instead, I awaken to the local public radio broadcast playing on my Model Three Tivoli radio. At that hour Garrison Keillor is usually reading a poem in his soothing voice. Then I get a brief weather update and the news. Even better is the weekend when “The Hour of the Guitar” is on and I get classical guitar music.

With the incredible advances in music technology you can now plug your iPod into the bedside cradle and sound design your morning. While my Model Three radio doesn’t let me use the iPod as an alarm, I can play a little Vivaldi or Strauss through it using a simple Monster cable as a patch cord. Roy Scheider may have been onto something in “All That Jazz.” If only he’d laid off the cigarettes and Dexedrine first thing in the morning.

So make yourself a playlist that’s heavy on light classical music, open the shades to the first rays of light in the East (or at least get your GE Reveal bulbs in place), turn on the shower and get ready for an enjoyable day. At the moment, there’s no one to whom you answer but you.

• Luxuriate

OK, the world’s greatest composers are playing just for your benefit (it’s good to be King) and you’ve shed some natural light on the subject. But you’ve had to get out of that nice warm bed. So it’s into the warming embrace of the shower and comforting ritual of the morning shave.

As long as you’re there, why not stock it with a citrus scented soap? Citrus and mint are two of the scents most stimulating to we humans. The lemon soap I use I found at my local Marshall’s discount store. It lathers great and smells like the mornings in Provence. If you’ve got a little play money set aside, consider ordering something from a high end body care store like Molton Brown (I love their naran ji fine liquid hand wash and am looking forward to trying the Recharge Black Pepper Body Wash) or Kiehl’s (wonderful shampoos and moisturizers in straight forward packaging.) Pour Homme and Alpine Herbs are amazing products.

A swedish terry cloth bathrobe (I found mine at Linen’s ‘n Things) eliminates the need to towel off and, in white, just makes you look clean. I imagine that’s why all those spas use them.

If you’re a man who shaves every weekday morning (and you are, aren’t you?) make it a pleasurable experience. Use the right equipment. A good heavy razor will do the work for you, no more pressing down against your skin to get that close shave. Throw away your foam in a can and get yourself a proper shaving cream. Check out Truefitt & Hill, you won’t believe the difference. I use the “Ultimate Comfort Shaving Cream” or their “Luxury Shaving Soap” and a badger brush. Follow up with a good aftershave balm and moisturizer (preferably one with an SPF15.) For more on a great shave check out The Gentlemen’s Refinery . While I haven’t tried the products, the advice is more than sage.

There, feels pretty good doesn’t it? Go make the bed and dress to face the day. More on that later.

3 thoughts on “An Easy and Elegant Start to Your Morning.

  1. Just discovered the website and am enjoying it immensely. If you haven’t already tried it, the Molton Brown Black Pepper Body Wash is fantastic!

  2. Welcome Bill and thank you. I’m tempted… but with the economic situation, Molton Brown may fall by the wayside. I do have a sample, though and I can resist anything (but temptation.)

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