by McKenna Ruzga

Meet Cory Ohlendorf - Co-founder and Editor in Chief of men's lifestyle website Valet. and The Daily Valet. newsletter.

"My job could best be described as a jack of all trades, master of none," Cory says. "I write and edit and help oversee the planning of everything we do at Valet. and The Daily Valet. newsletter.  Because I do a little bit of everything, my day is always interesting but, at times, stressful and erratic. The one thing that’s fairly constant is my mornings. "

Here's an inside look into the tools, products, and routines he uses to start his day off on a high note. 

7 (ish): My alarm goes off and I silence my trusty sound machine (I don’t think I could sleep without it). I’m immediately confronted with a choice: hit the snooze and snuggle with the dog who’s usually nestled in next to me or get up and work out. You’d think I’d be disciplined enough just to push through the pain but I’ve never been much of a morning person. A nice compromise is five extra minutes in bed—sometimes stretching and scrolling social media, other times scratching my dog’s belly.

7:15: Since the pandemic, I’ve been working out at home. And I have to say, while I miss the gym and the unlimited machines, I do appreciate the efficiency of working out at home. I’ve become very acquainted with all the trainers on the Apple Fitness + app. The corner of my bedroom that has become my makeshift home gym serves me well with just a yoga mat, a few barbells and a Brrrn slideboard that I tried for an article and got hooked on instantly.

8 am: I hop in the shower and just before I turn off the water, I jolt my body awake with a shock of cold water. The first few seconds are almost unbearable but it’s like dousing your body with caffeine—instant energy and alertness. This is when my gears officially start grinding and I can mentally prepare for the day.

8:15 am: My nighttime grooming is pretty involved but the morning is relatively simple. I’ve stripped it down to only tried-and-true basics. The one outlier is my consistent eye drop use. Because my job requires me to stare incessantly at a computer screen all day, I always drop some Lumify into my eyes so I, at least, appear well-rested (despite all evidence to the contrary). After brushing my teeth, I apply an all-in-one lightweight SPF facial moisturizer that I thought you could only get in Japan, but thankfully found on Amazon during the pandemic. I’ll run some Jack Henry Paste through my hair and finish up with a few swipes of Jack Henry deodorant, then I’m ready to get dressed.


8:45 am: I drink a lot of coffee. I sip it hot, I chug it cold—it all depends on my mood or the season. But I subscribe to Trade, a subscription service that allows you to have bags of coffee by artisanal roasters from all over the country delivered to your door weekly. Which means I can now describe coffee like a well-versed coffee nerd, discussing bean origins, roasting levels and tasting notes. However, I simply don’t have the patience to do pour-over, so I use a Moccamaster automatic brewer.

9 am: While Valet. is still working from home, I usually eat breakfast at my desk while I go through emails and respond to anything urgent from the team or sources we’re working with for upcoming stories. Lately, my breakfast is yogurt with blueberries, a little granola and drizzle of maple syrup. The syrup is key to making it feel more like the waffles I wish I were having instead.

9: 30 am: This is when I update my to-do list for the day as well. I write and re-write checklists with the alacrity of a NASA engineer prepping a launch. I keep a digital version in the Notes app on my phone, so it syncs with my computer at the office and my laptop and iPad at home. That way, I can access it and add to it wherever I am throughout the day and night. I try to tackle a few small tasks so I can remove them from my list before lunch.