Remember those days before you were a parent, when mornings meant hitting the snooze button till the very last minute or a leisurely breakfast to the strains of the latest NPR podcast? Yeah, me neither. Ever since kids entered into my life’s equation, and particularly now during their preschool years, the start of my day ranges from hectic to hellish, with the occasional tantrum thrown in for good measure.
Not that I’m complaining, by the way; those kids are the best thing to ever happen to me. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss having a stress-free start to my mornings. So in the spirit of a little self-indulgence, I’m name-checking the three all-important elements that make beginning my day just a tiny bit better.
1. THE BEDDING
If there’s anything that I’m obsessive about, it’s a perfectly made bed. And yet, who has time when you’re trying to throw breakfast on the table, pack a school lunch, and wrestle your toddler into a sweater and snow pants? These days, I’ve been raving to anyone who’ll listen about Crane & Canopy’s recently-launched Hayes Nova duvet in Dove Grey. Talk about simple and brilliant: the two-in-one design mimics the look of a folded-over sheet, with piping at the edges for a crisp, photo-ready look. Bonus points for the hidden corner ties and middle zipper that make restuffing your duvet cover way less of a chore.
2. THE CAPPUCCINO MACHINE
The best summer job I ever had was my stint as a teenage barista on the Upper East Side. I’d take immense pride and pleasure in the cottonlike quality of my froth and the intricacy of my latte art hearts. Fast-forward a couple of decades to my current status as short-order cook to two toddlers, and I’d be lucky to throw a cup of instant coffee together as I scramble around the stove. That’s why the Keurig Rivo Cappuccino and Latte System now takes pride of place on my counter. With the push of two buttons and in under three minutes, my perfectly frothed cappuccino awaits—and even if I have to drink it on my feet, so what? (I just pretend I’m at a Milanese espresso bar.) The machine is easy to use, quick to clean, and takes up a minimum amount of room in my spatially challenged kitchen. And although Keurig exclusively uses Lavazza pods, if millions of Italians make that their go-to espresso, then that’s just fine by me.
3. THE MAKEUP SET
For years, my version of the no-makeup look would mean just that: no makeup. But it was time to transcend the Smith’s Rosebud Salve approach in a way that still looks apropos for the school-run-to-workplace circuit. And for that I turned to Into the Gloss’s Emily Weiss and her famously minimalist face for inspiration. Believe the hype, guys—the Glossier Phase 1 Set is a serious boon to busy, beauty-challenged moms. As someone who’s shied away from foundation her whole life, I can wholeheartedly attest to the complexion-enhancing qualities of the set’s Perfecting Skin Tint. What I like about the set is that it requires little to no thought; there are four products, you apply them in order, and they go on smoothly and feel great while doing so. And just like that, you’re out the door.