Our Morning Rituals, Vol. 4

Our Morning Rituals is a lifestyle series in which the Attic editors give us a glimpse of their mornings – what do they eat? what products do they use? what do they read? Reviving the series for 2019, Creative Director Raquel takes us through her routine.

I suppose you could say Mornings and I are in a tempestuous love triangle with that oh so sultry siren called Sleep. I love mornings. I absolutely love waking up early, and if you know me in person, I never shut up about the glorious years between my early and mid-twenties when I would wake up at 6:30 without so much as a peep of alarm and somehow be the most productive I’ve ever been in my life. I miss those years. But what I struggled with then, as I continue to do now, is the sporadic bout of insomnia. It was definitely worse then, but in some way the adrenaline of university and early post-university life made it so that I was completely okay on six hours of sleep or less, and while I woke up at 6:30, I always had so much done by the afternoon that the regular nap or two wasn’t unwelcome either.

I feel old at twenty eight sometimes, primarily in that I need more sleep. Of course, other physical health issues contribute to this, and the short answer is that my body is finally paying for my youthful (and sometimes not youthful if we look at parts of 2018) indiscretions with adrenaline. But I still love mornings, and the one beautiful aspect of my current freelancer status is that I can avoid early commitments, enjoy the slow living I appreciate, and still let that bastard Sleep keep me in bed far later than 6 am.

Breakfast Tray,   Williams-Sonoma   ( similar ). Mug,   Anthropologie  .   Florida   by Lauren Groff.

Breakfast Tray, Williams-Sonoma (similar). Mug, Anthropologie. Florida by Lauren Groff.

Mornings are usually quiet for me. I’ll let a playlist go in the background while I work my way through my routine and sometimes even through the rest of the day. The very first thing I do is a few minutes of stretching to wake up and regain some mobility; it’s not yoga by a long shot but what I’ve learned from seeing a chiropractor regularly this year is that my joints and muscles are extremely tense. In order to relax them all, I try to move around and stretch as much as I can throughout the day to avoid numbness or pain that comes whenever I stay still for too long, including during sleep. Next I’ll make my bed to prevent myself from crawling back in, throw on a robe or cardigan, and head to the kitchen.

Breakfast is my favorite meal, but I’m not usually hungry first thing in the morning, so I go for something light. On weekends we cook up more elaborate feasts, but during the week I stick to coffee (2-3 sugars, 8-10 ounces of espresso, whatever room is left at the top for whichever nut or oat milk was on special at the market this week) and a pastry brought home from my brother’s café. I mainly eat healthy but like to overlook the indulgence of a croissant or muffin with the logic that it can’t be all bad if I know exactly what went into it. If they weren’t my brother’s doing, I’d make them from scratch myself. We’re back to living together now, but the years I lived elsewhere he would deliver to my house, a source of both envy and enjoyment for all of my house-mates.

Over breakfast, I’ll usually catch up on any messages I missed overnight, then scroll Instagram and Twitter as quickly as possible so that I can get to my reading. At the moment I’m struggling to get into anything I start (which also results in a fear of picking up anything I’ve been told I’ll love) so I’m casually grazing short stories on and off my bookshelf. On warmer days, I read from Florida, and just last weekend, I finally picked up the new Sylvia Plath so I’m actually excited to read that one next. I try to read thirty minutes to an hour every morning (as long as it takes to read a chapter or short) and will usually do that while I leisurely enjoy my coffee, which by now is ice cold, thanks to a microwave that broke ages ago and I honestly haven’t felt like replacing. In the summer I’ll brew it straight over ice. If I can’t focus on book reading, I’ll look up a bookmarked article or go over my journal for the week and see what I need to be doing for the day.

I mainly work from home, so I don’t do anything in the way of makeup every single day, although if I know I have plans or appointments later I’ll think about what I’ll want to wear to that and thus plan makeup accordingly. I don’t like being rushed when the time comes to get ready. As for skincare, since making the resolution to figure it all out, I’ve learned my skin prefers a minimal routine. In my case, soap seems to cause more trouble than it solves (insert confused shrug emoji). I like an exfoliating wash about once a week, but on most days I’ll cleanse with micellar water and tone with the Woodlot Nourishing Toner I’ve been using for almost a year now. I used to put it on a cotton pad but have found lately that I can get by with half as much if I drop it straight into my hands and pat directly onto my face and neck. I’ll let that sink in while I get dressed for the day; as ridiculous as I also found that Wall Street Journal article last November, I have always preferred dressing for work in order to switch my mind’s focus — although I’m not wearing anything near a $500 sweater.

I’ll finish off with some First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream and lip balm — I’m searching for a cruelty-free one I like but at the moment am still on the Avène Cold Cream I picked up on our day trip to France last year — and finally brush my hair and get to work. These days that may involve a specific commission but may also likely be Attic discussions with Olivia. Given the time difference, she’ll usually be in her afternoon or evening work mode and so we’ll trade ideas or edits back and forth while either working on site updates or writing respective pieces. After she heads off for dinner, I’ll make myself a quick lunch and get to other things, be they work projects, tidying around my house, catching up with my brother who’s usually now arriving home from his work, or all of the above.

Custom slip dress, vintage cardigan. All items are the author’s own.

Custom slip dress, vintage cardigan. All items are the author’s own.

We have provided links to books through our affiliate, Wordery – an independent, online bookseller – and we may earn a small commission on any purchases made through them. If you want to support your local bookstore, you can also search on Indiebound!

Raquel Reyes is Creative Director at The Attic on Eighth. She enjoys styling photo shoots, dramatic hair accessories, and old fashioned cocktails.