1. Light some candles.
Do not underestimate the power of candlelight. Candles instantly create a charming and romantic setting. Whether you're hosting a dinner party or just enjoying a night alone with a cup of tea, candlelight will instantly up the level of romance. They are a worthy investment, and the pricier ones will last longer. I love this one from Anthropologie, but I also keep a bag of tea lights on hand at all times. And if you're feeling crafty, make your own! Check out the tutorial on page 18 of our Fall issue.
2. Dive into a novel.
If the real world is bringing you down, get lost in a good book. Grab your favorite blanket, find a cozy chair, and choose a story that will make you smile. I recommend The Alchemist.
3. Turn on music, and get in the kitchen.
Seriously, this always works for me. A little Billie Holiday in the background, and I dance my way around the kitchen. I love cooking, but sometimes it feels like a chore instead of a joy. The music helps me to slow down and savor the process of chopping and mixing to create something delicious. Also, wear a cute apron. I don't know what it is but as soon as I tie one on, everything clicks. I love this one.
4. Bring on the bubbles.
Well, actually I'm referring to bubble baths, but, now that I think about it, a glass of bubbly in a bubble bath would be ideal. I don't have a tub right now, but when I did, my favorite thing to do would be to slap on a face mask and spend a little quiet time in the tub. Sometimes I would play music; sometimes I'd read a book or a magazine. Either way, that alone time was awesome. Putting yourself first sometimes is totally necessary and allows you to keep looking at the world through a positive light. Make sure to keep some good bath salts on hand!
5. Go on a coffee date.
Go with your significant other, a friend, a family member, or even by yourself. Conversing over steaming cups of coffee, tea, or cocoa with pastries in hand is one of my all-time favorite things to do. And I believe that good conversation is one of the most special things we can experience. It may seem obvious, but often I find that weeks have gone by without a coffee date. And a lot of times, an hour in a cute cafe is all you need to feel better about life. Finding a local spot that you love and cherish is totally romantic. You'll feel like you're living in a wonderful film each time you ask for your usual order and sit at your usual table.
How do you bring a little romance into your life?