I’ve always been a romantic at heart. Many years ago, with two young girls under foot, no money to spend and Valentine’s Day looming, I had to get creative in order to have my heart-shaped cake and eat it too. There would be no date night with my beloved out on the town—that was quite evident. So, being a determined young woman with a fanciful imagination, I rummaged around the house gathering up anything I could find that said ROMANCE. Picture the ambience I whipped up that night: Twinkling lights. Votive candles. Soft music. A small round table covered in lace pulled up to the fireplace and two chairs nestled side by side, draped with tulle and ribbon. I put the kids to bed, added a package of pudding, some pound cake, fruit and whipped cream to a fancy bowl and voila! I had a romantic date!
Who says a date night has to involve consuming big bucks in a crowded restaurant? Why do we torture ourselves into thinking romance has to include over-priced handpicked chocolates, $100 worth of roses or glittering heart-shaped diamonds? Why not make the best of what we have–a roof over our head and a little ingenuity–to create a memorable evening for any occasion. A home shouldn’t just be a place to store our things. Our homes provide an opportunity to create the life we really want. Everyday life might not seem romantic, but it is all in the perspective. Life doesn’t always hand us our dreams on a silver platter, but with a little creative energy we can imagine life to be just about anything we want it to be. Work with what you have to create your dreams under your own roof. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Craving a vacation? How about a little Parisian rendezvous after the kids go to bed? The library has wonderful travel CDs you can check out to see the splendor of just about any travel destination. Dim the lights, butter up some croissants, whip up some instant cappuccino and you’ll never know you didn’t spend the night in Paris. Well, at least it will be a close second to the real thing!
Need a day at the spa? While your girlfriend’s husband might plunk down a fortune for her to be pampered on Valentine’s Day, you can feel like a queen in your own home. Gather up a fluffy towel, a good book, bubble bath and a cup of tea, lock the kids out of the bathroom, dim the lights (so you won’t notice the dingy tile!) and fill up that bathtub to soothe your cares away.
Want a little adventure in dining? How about a progressive dinner in your own home? Try some new recipes (or order takeout!) and create a different restaurant in several rooms of your house! Have appetizers in the living room, dinner in the bedroom and dessert in the den. Play different kinds of music in each room to create the perfect ambience!
Dreaming of a night at a quaint bed and breakfast inn? Set the stage for an overnight getaway in your own private B&B! It’s the little details that will make this special. Write out a description of your charming hotel, where it is located and its amenities. This will really set the stage for picturing your ultimate getaway. Give the B&B a name, label the bedroom door, wrap up some chocolates for the bed, put a small bouquet in the bathroom and have a tray set up with tasty delicacies for nibbling. If you really want to feel like you got away for the night, set up a guest room somewhere else in the house! Don’t forget to be prepared for the morning breakfast — cinnamon rolls and coffee at a quaint corner table!
Need a little sunshine to escape a cloudy day? How about wearing sunglasses in your bathing suit sipping tropical punch through a tiny straw in a glass with paper umbrellas? Ok, well, maybe I am getting a little carried away here, but you get the idea. This is all about creating an experience, and sometimes you just have to use your imagination! Creating and using your imagination is half the fun of life. We just forget to try it sometimes.
Unrealistic expectations of what holidays, dates, birthdays and even everyday life should look like can leave us feeling deprived or lacking. Even our own friends’ ability to live the high life while we are just struggling to get by can be a bit depressing. But with a change in attitude and mindset, a focus on the blessings that God has given us, and a dose of creativity and fun, our lives can be every bit as rich and fulfilling as our neighbors’ who can just hop on a plane to spend Valentine’s Day in a romantic restaurant 3,000 miles away. Create a place that nurtures your spirit, rekindles your love, and renews your energy right under your own roof. That is a fairytale life! I can’t think of anything more romantic than that.
Song of Solomon 2:10, “My lover spoke and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.’”
©2008, Melissa Michaels
Photo credit, Melissa Michaels