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Enjoy a touch of romance each day, with flowers and other treats

Valentine's Day can be lots of fun, but why reserve the romance for just one day of the year? It's so easy to make your daily life more romantic just by adding a few special touches to your decorating. Here are a few ideas to inspire you. Mary Carol Garrity, Scripps Howard News Service

Flowers aren't just for Valentine's Day. So treat yourself to a lovely bouquet of flowers every time you're at the grocery store, whether it's a bundle of sweetheart roses or a mixed arrangement.

One of my favorite ways to use these inexpensive grocery-store bouquets is to separate out the flowers, trim the stems of each very short and place a few blooms apiece in several small vases. Tuck the little bouquets into unexpected places, like on a bookshelf display, on your kitchen windowsill or counter, next to your nightstand or on your dining table.

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Whether tonight's fare is pot roast or meatloaf, daily dinners don't have to be ho-hum. Make midweek dinner a delight by adding a few romantic touches to your table. If you're in the mood to go big, surprise your family by pulling out the china, silver and crystal. Or just add a lovely serving piece here and there. Put your table water in a fine glass decanter with matching glasses. Or, pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly and serve it chilled in a lovely silver ice bucket.

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Spoil yourself with beautiful sheets trimmed in lace. Shop the white sales for a lovely set, or if you're crafty, get some plain white sheets and embellish them yourself with ribbons, lace or whatever fanciful trim your imagination can dream up. I know it sounds like a small thing, but when you head to bed after a long, hard day, and you see those lovely linens waiting for you, you feel like royalty.

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Pour your pot of coffee into a stylish urn. Purge your cupboard of every ugly mug you own, and, instead, sip from a darling china cup. Instead of pulling packs of sugar or sweetener straight from the box or pouring your creamer from the carton in the fridge, dig out that wonderful cream and sugar set you have buried back in your cupboard and put it to use every day.

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Print your favorite photos and display them in your home in lovely frames. Tuck one on your bedside table, another on a shelf in your kitchen and another on your desk at work.

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No one likes to do the dishes. But it's more fun when you keep your dish soap in a pretty decanter. A friend used this idea to turn her laundry room into a showplace. She put her liquid fabric softener in a crystal decanter and her powdered soap in an apothecary jar, using a silver scoop to measure it out. She placed both containers on top of her washer on a lovely silver tray. I've done something similar with my cats' food — I store the cat chow on my kitchen counter in a pretty glass jar. I've even taken this idea one step further by feeding these spoiled kitties in adorable blue-and-white china pet-food bowls corralled on a silver tray.

Enjoy a touch of romance each day, with flowers and other treats 02/01/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 3:30am]
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