romantic things…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m not gonna lie, I do miss the days of elementary school where you decorated your own Valentine’s box with red and pink construction paper and bought cute, slightly cheesy valentines to give to your classmates. I remember over-thinking it way too much and trying to make sure the boys in my class received valentines that were the most un-romantic possible. I also went through all of the valentines I received from the boys and reading waaay too far into each of the messages printed on the store-bought valentines, trying to figure out which ones had a secret crush on me. Ah the simpler days…

Personally, I love a holiday dedicated to romance (even though it has become increasingly more commercial), even though I don’t necessarily have any significant other to spend the holiday with. It’ll all happen in it’s own due time, ya know? Some people can get a tad cynical about Valentine’s Day, but I figure that good intentions and happy, lovely things are at the root of this holiday, so I’ll take it!

If you haven’t guessed already, I have an obsession with all things romance-related, and I get some strange sense of happiness by searching for romantic pictures on Pinterest. I think city-romance pictures are my favorite. So to celebrate love, and romantic cuteness, here are some of my favorite pictures that I’ve pinned on my “Romantic things…” Pinterest board. Also, to read some beautiful words about love, read this post that I discovered today! Enjoy, and I sincerely hope you have a beautiful day, whether it is spent with someone or not!


















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twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

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pinterest >>> tessa kohler


love these days

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how do i feel about love these days?

love is illusive. love is wonderful. love is vague. love is ambiguous.

if we’re talking about the home-for-the-holidays, cozy family love, then love is peace and comfort and a breath of relief after a long, long day. family love is constant and i’m grateful for the family in my life that always has my back. this family sort of love is what has continually given me a leg up throughout my life, particularly in the past couple months.

and then there’s that other kind of love.

that sweep-you-off-your-feet, kiss-in-the-moonlight, will-you-be-my-forever-and-always, let’s-make-plans kind of love. that love that gives our world hope and belief in the magical, the impossible and improbable that seems to somehow happen anyway.

how do i feel about that kind of love?

well…i can tell you that i want it. holy cow, do i want it. {ask anyone who knows me and they’ll testify to my position as a hopeless romantic.} i can tell you that i hope hope hope that my future is holding that kind of love in its hands as we speak, outstretched and just waiting for me to get close enough and far enough along in my years to reach out and snatch it – snatch it and never, ever let go of it.

that’s the kind of love that has the power to cross all sorts of barriers and break down all sorts of walls. that is truly the substance of magic.

but i don’t think i’ve quite reached that kind of love as of yet in my life. sometimes i occasionally wonder…but then i shake off the wondering because it doesn’t feel like it’s time for all of that yet. i’m not one to rush into things, and rushing into suppositions just scares me. not that it’s necessarily wrong, it’s just my nature to wait and wait until i’m absolutely, one hundred percent sure that it’s real.

and the funny thing about love, and how i feel about it these days, is that i’m pretty much okay to wait. yeah, i do my fair share griping and wondering about when prince charming is finally going to make his definite entrance, but secretly i’m really okay. i have a strong belief that everything’s under control and it’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen.

the thing about love – that heart-breaking, heart-aching love – is that while a little bit of halfway love is nice and fun and all that, it’s the deep-down stuff that really counts. i think our hearts know that and my heart, at least, is willing to hold out for the good stuff.

so how do i feel about love?

love is magical. true love speaks of sparks and sunshine and constancy through the rough spots.

the concept of love is exciting, and exhilarating, and just so, so lovely. the reality that two people can just happen to meet at the right time, in the right place, in such a way that will intertwine their fates forever – that’s beautiful, right there.

i’m excited for that – that whole love thing.

and when that does happen, when the bells ring and the angels sing praises and the real sparks fly and all that cliche jazz, i’ll probably write another “love these days” post and let y’all know how it all worked out, okie dokie? i have a thousand different scenarios worked out in my head, and i’m sure it’ll end up far different from anything i could have imagined, but however it works out will be absolutely perfect and so, so right.

love these days? currently, it’s hiding backstage, behind a curtain, just waiting for me to whirl it open, maybe with a flourish or maybe slowly and carefully, ready to welcome it into my life.


this post was inspired by THIS OTHER POST!

in defense of chivalry {part 2} / a discourse on gentlemanliness

i found this old essay on my thumbdrive the other day, which is what inspired me to write “in defense of chivalry {part 1}”, but i thought i’d preface it with some thoughts on chivalry (my post yesterday) before getting to the actual gentleman substance.

i wrote this essay for my ap english class as a junior in high school. we had to write seven essays, each in a specific form, about one topic. i chose to write my seven essays on romance (big surprise there!). it was probably one of the most fun essay-writing projects i’ve had, actually. you can bet my tough, football coach english teacher loved reading those essays!

anyway, i’ve cut little bits and pieces and changed some words here and there, but the gist of the essay is the same. also, this is entirely personal opinion! i am very strongly opinionated when it comes to gentlemen. keep in mind that this is just my definition of what a true gentleman is,  so just bear with me, and i would love to hear your definition too!

without further ado, “a discourse on gentlemen”…..

you read about them in books and see them in movies. they’re the perfect, the ideal, the sought-after. they’re gentlemen.  there are lots of decent guys in the world, but what sets apart the true gentlemen from the rest of the male world?

first and foremost, gentlemen always, always, always hold open doors. proper door-opening is quite specific. it can’t be simply propping the door open with your arm as he walks through ahead of you. oh no! the true gentleman remains outside and stands, holding the door wide open from the side, as the lady walks through. the gentleman does this not just because he’s obligated to, but because he truly wants the lady to be able to walk easily inside.

also in the category of doors would be car doors. a true gentleman opens the car door for his lady so she can easily step into the car. when it comes time for her to exit the car, the truest of gentlemen will not allow a lady to exit without him walking around to her side and opening the door for her. if he fails to do this, but at least opens it for her to enter, he can still be considered a gentleman. again, he opens the car door for her not just due to obligation, but because he truly cares about the lady exiting or entering the car as comfortably as possible.

a gentleman treats every girl like a lady. he can most certainly have one special lady in particular, but he treats every girl he meets with courtesy, kindness, and respect. he offers his coat to any lady that appears to be chilly. it does not matter the appearance of the lady or her relationship with the gentleman. he always offers.

a gentleman doesn’t corrupt his speech with the use of foul words. he speaks with dignity and chooses his words carefully. he speaks of all people, especially ladies, in fair, un-judgmental terms. he isn’t proud or stuck-up in his mannerisms. he will carry on a decent conversation with any decent human being. he dresses with taste and class. he is, of course, allowed to dress casually, but should be accustomed to and comfortable with dressing nicer at times.

when a gentleman is on a date, he treats his date like a princess. he makes sure she doesn’t want for anything; food, water, a chair…anything. he is at her beck and call. on a date, she is his foremost concern. he compliments her. this, in and of itself, is hugely important. too few guys these days pay girls real, heartfelt compliments.

the scarcity of true gentlemen in our world is astonishing. whatever happened to chivalry and knights in shining armor? the image and presence of gentlemen in our world needs to be restored before the young men in our midst become entirely harsh, stuck-up, and selfish. i have the privilege of knowing a select few gentlemen, and i’m grateful for the standard they’ve set in my mind of how guys should act.

long live the gentleman! may he and his kind never, ever die off!

leave a comment of YOUR definition of a gentleman! am I being too strict? or is there more to add? are gentlemen really that important in our world? 


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