The Fairytale Life

Michaels valentines treats

I've always been a bit of a romantic.  In our dating days, I pictured married life filled with quiet dinners, soft lights and no dirty pans in sight. And definitely no dirty diapers. It was a lot easier to create a fairytale life when we didn't have so many responsibilities.

These days, I can easily get lost in the day to day challenges of just keeping my home going. The last thought on my mind sometimes is setting the mood for romance. For me, creating ambience is critical to a romantic mood in the home. Not just in the bedroom, but throughout the house.

Here are a few tips:

Freshen up the bedroom ?& bathroom

If the laundry piled up on the bed during the day, the kids flung their pull-ups or undies across the floor, or if your cereal bowl is still on the bathroom counter, take just a few moments to freshen things up. Seeing unsightly reminders of your long day will kill the romantic ambience pretty quickly.

End the day earlier
If you tend to be tired in the evenings (aren't we all once we get to be "our age"), do as your grandparents probably did and start having "supper" instead of dinner. Meaning, eat earlier if you can! The earlier you can eat and clean up, the more time you have in the evening to enjoy relaxation. And adjust the kids bedtime if you can pull that off! It is nice to have a couple of child-free hours in the evenings.

Another tip my husband and I used when our kids were young was to feed the kids separately once in awhile. I could get them fed before my husband even got home. Then, after the kids had a little time with daddy, we'd put them to bed and have our own dinner together, just like having a dinner date at home!

If your house smells like leftover fish tacos after dinner, air things out! Spray some perfume or heat some scented oil. Or bake something yummy to override the offending odor!

Break out the pretty dishes
I'm not a fancy gourmet cook so if I want to have a romantic at home date with my husband, I rely on pretty dishes and a couple of candles to make things look more appetizing. A simple set of white dishes can be so lovely on a table. For a fun dessert date night, you can pudding in clear stemmed goblets and brownies on a fancy cake plate.

Turn on the mood lighting
As the daylight starts to fade, turn down the bright lights in the house too. Use lamps instead of overhead lighting. Once the kids have gone to bed, light candles to lend a pretty glow to end tables.

Light a fire
If you have a fireplace, use it! We now have a gas fireplace so it is easier to flip on a switch for instant warmth and ambience. If building a fire is not possible, set up a bunch of candles to give off light and sparkle. If you have small children you can use battery operated candles.

Get creative
Are you turning into an old married couple with a predictable evening routine? Gulp. If you usually clean up after dinner, put the kids to bed and then watch TV the rest of the night, try mixing up the routine by playing a board game next to the fireplace or reading out loud to each other curled up on the couch. Or, re-read your love letters or re-live your memories of your early dating days. At first you might think it sounds corny or forced, or you might think your old routine is pretty comfortable, but routines can get dull. And dull is NOT romantic.

Music to your ears
Instead of flipping on the TV every evening to fill the silence, fire up your iPod or stereo with some more romantic background tunes.

Attitude check
By the end of the day, I am usually really tired. I work hard right up until the end of the day. Not only do I need to end my day earlier, but I need to shift my thinking from work and housekeeping to setting a romantic tone — both around the house and in my attitude. I don't want to make the house all pretty and romantic and then ruin the ambience by my attitude!

It's all about making your marriage a priority in ways that work for you.

(By the way, our relationship with God is a lot like this too.)  

What do you do to keep the romance alive at home and in your heart?

  • Jess

    Great Essay. One other this that helps my DH unwind when he walks in is for me to take a few min to make sure that I look my best. If I look all frazzled and looking like I have been fighting with the kids all day, then he thinks that there will continue to be drama.

  • Dee

    Wonderful ideas! My husband and I like to take walks together. We can walk through the back of our neighborhood into a park with lovely woodland paths. Being outdoors in this quiet together just the two of us is so intimate.

  • Susan

    Thank you for taking the time to talk about this. It is key for so many women and it is our job to create a sanctuary in our home for not only our husband but our family. I recently went to a Home Experience Weekend – which there is a book that talks about the principles, check it out on amazon (Home Experience, Making Your Home a Sanctuary of Love and Peace, by Devi Titus) I have changed the way I serve dinner, create special places in my home and even greet every member of the family each day. It really has made me realize completely what God wants – needs me to be for my family. I finally have a peace truly knowing what my role is and how God sees me and cherishes me as a wife, mom and keeper of my home.

  • M

    Thanks for these suggestions, which pertain whether or not there are young kids in the house.
    Here’s a simple, low-cost, environmentally friendly tip: to do to remove food odors from the kitchen and house, put some white vinegar (or cider vinegar) in a small saucepan with a bit of water (maybe a 1/4 c vinegar and 1/2 water) and let it simmer. If you do this WHILE you are cooking the fish or using heated oil, for instance, it will work even better. Likewise, you can simply put some water in a pan and add what you have: vanilla extract, apple juice or orange juice, cinnamon bits, cloves, etc. You don’t have to bake anything (helps with the waistlines as well as the waste…) but you have a wonderful “baking” smell.

  • Valentina

    THANKS for this post. All these ideas and tips are super great :) I just got married 2 weeks ago and will keep these suggestions in mind… ALL THE TIME!

  • Laura

    what did you use to make the delicious looking dessert?

  • grace

    Just recently we’ve gone from just hanging out with the team–and by team, I mean the “kids” in the coffee shop/ministry/school/music venue/church we live in the back of–to taking some time to play a card game, just the two of us. It’s been really really nice, and has definitely given things a change of pace for our marriage and romance. ^_^

  • Gussy

    :] i likey!

  • Glenda

    Thanks for the ideas. I really liked them. Our marriage has been a little stale lately. maybe some of these ideas may help.

  • Linda Stoll

    Some really great hands-on ideas! Especially about ending the day early … and lighting candles and turning on those lamps …
    A few board games have come out in recent days – and have even replaced the evening news!
    And hot chocolate toward the end of the evening has become a very nice way to wrap up the evening …

  • courtney

    What a wonderful post and great tips. I think I will be incorporating them into our quiet Valentine’s weekend at home.

  • Melissa

    Great tips! I especially like the one about leaving the TV off and reading out loud to each other. When we were dating my husband and I would sit on the couch together and do just that…maybe it’s time for me to find a new book for us to share!

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