Easy and Elegant Life

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

High Five

There are a few products that make my morning more enjoyable that aren’t sartorially related. So few that I can narrow them down to five things that really have an impact on my morning routine and my happiness quotient. It’s the little things that count…




Cade Shaving cream was a gift from Corporate Creature, whose dermatologist recommended it for those with sensitive skin. I can’t get over the scent, juniper. sandalwood, immortale and rosemary. It makes me want to breath deeply. Truly a pleasurable way to start the morning. So much so, in fact, that I’m headed for our local boutique to buy the aftershave balm today.


I love my illy coffee maker, but sometimes I get coffee’d out, Especially if I have a cold; which seems to have  been most of this winter. In those cases, I turn to tea. Two days ago I visited Carytown Teas where owner Patricia Guillouard imports and blends the finest teas available to humanity. I’ve drunk Blood Orange Pu-erh for the past two days and it may be my imagination, but I feel great!


I’m drying out. At least my skin is. Since I’m in my middle-age, it’s to be expected. But that doesn’t mean I have to live with it. Especially when my lips get dry. Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lipbalm is the best I’ve used that is readily available. Maybe it’s the peppermint. I love peppermint.


Yes, I love my jazz (Bill Evans, unreal…), my Bossa Nova, my early punk and New Wave music, but it is American Public Media’s Performance Today that is the soundtrack of my work-at-home life. Fred Child’s voice and programming make for a seriously elegant entry into any day. I tune it in on my Tivoli Model One when I have to go out and the puppy is in his crate.


And, finally, my iPhone 4. I’ll upgrade one day, but this thing has truly changed my life. The second thing I do in the morning is to check my weather by pulling down the notifications screen. I just added the Tivoli radio app to it this instant….

Do you have any morning favourites that you’d like to pass along? Please do. We’re all in this morning thing together.

13 thoughts on “High Five

  1. Mine are:
    1. Nescafé. Et in Sparta ego.
    2. An old fashioned Seiko Diver. Unpretentious, reliable and… alive. Checking if it still goes 5″ ahead of time cheers me up somehow every morning.Can’t explain why, but it does.
    3. Ipad. My version of your iphone.
    4. Birds. They sing at the balcony every morning, even though we live right by the Palacio Real, in downtown Madrid.
    5. Pain au chocolat from the local bakery, eaten still on the street before she knows.

  2. Nescafé? Still! Huh. Makes a great iced coffee. I have watch envy. Love my iPad, but still can slip the phone in to the pocket. With the bifocals though… it won’t be long ’til the iPad takes over.

    Pain au chocolat… ..local bakery. I do miss that Euro lifestyle.

  3. Good thing about the Ipad, no one can call you… If you do not answer skype calls, that is.
    I love Nescafé, it is so uncool, so quick, so much like travelling light.
    And we all have watch envy. It is the best part about watches, i guess.
    You do have great bakeries, though. Only problem is that you gotta drive for everything.
    One day soon we’ll have breakfast together again, here or there, wherever there is.

  4. Dear Chris,
    You sound bubbly by describing your early morning happiness quotient! It IS a luxury for having such great little things around us for starting off the day. Thanks for the Burts Beeswax link; from Europe I used to have Labello all the time but this sounds great. Okay, got the white iPhone 4S and LOVE it too! We start our day off with coffee and cacao added. Good for your health and great taste as well.
    Hope your colds will give up on you now it’s officially spring! Our tea time is in the afternoon…

  5. Z gel, a French homeopathic gel with Bach flower essences and arnica. Panacea for most things in life. A must!

  6. I get most of my tea from Patricia! One that is especially wonderful over ice is her Bella Coola (tisane). It doesn’t need sugar and my guests always rave about it…. Cheers, Liz

  7. -The little plug in electric heater that sits on the bathroom floor
    -The battery operated frother doo-dad that we received as a gift… makes our half and half look like coffee shop artwork.
    -Eggs from our chickens in great-grandma’s cast iron skillet.
    -Floris Snow Rose perfume
    -my buckwheat pillow from target.com..makes it hard to get up in the morning.

  8. Dear Chris,
    Thanks for the tips; the tea sounds great, a must –add. And, since I enjoy my morning shave I also look forward to adding the Cade shaving cream to my ritual.
    My Five?
    1.Merkur safety razor
    2.Badger hair shaving brush
    3.Fresh ground coffee from my Kitchen Aid grinder
    4.and Bodum press pot
    5. First Wave on Sirius XM for the drive to work.

  9. roll out of bed and start the kettle for yerba mate. pull up two online newspapers, one local, one national. Kettle is ready, sip the mate, no sugar.
    1 chapter of scripture, check the sports page. Think about pulling on shoes to go to the gym… don’t.

  10. Roll out of bed put coffee maker on and check mail on iPhone 4. Did not feel the need to upgrade to iPhone 5 waiting for 6!!

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