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Forget clichés! Celebrate Valentine's Day in style

From customized gifts to specialty sweets, Bobbie Thomas shares hot ideas

By Bobbie Thomas contributor
updated 8:33 a.m. PT, Fri., Feb. 8, 2008

You don't have to dread the pressure of picking out a Valentine's Day present this year! Keep in mind, this holiday was created to be cute and kitschy, and you can have fun by celebrating with your single friends or planning an evening of luxury with your loved one!

Why not dream up a dynamic evening that fuses romance and relaxation? Santuario Di Bellezza's collection of salts and candles are so beautifully packaged, they're bound to put you in the mood for love ($90-$600; Plus, their Pure Pink Himalayan Sea Salt is more than 250 million years old, and is said to contain the same mineral content as human blood plasma!

And speaking of baths, consider a bubble bath filled with fun elements — and take some toys into the tub. A Flashing Love Duckie and Large Plastic Heart Pillow from Décor Craft Inc. are sure to make you smile ($4-$6; Jimmy Jane's Massage Oil Candles melt into a skin-nourishing emollient wax that will work wonders toward melting your loved one's heart ($38-$135; And finally, don't forget to create ambiance with a Digital Fireplace. Experience a live crackling fire, without worrying about the firewood ($7.99;!

Flowers and food
You don't have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to gift giving, but keep in mind — a little effort goes a long way. Consider customizing your chocolate gift this year with a meaningful message. Hershey's chocolate cards and kisses ($15-$40; and My M&M's colorful candies ($60-$230; are a "sweet" way to tell your special someone how you feel! Or opt for an elaborate cake-in-hatbox creation from Lilyfield Cakes ($40-$235; Order the "girls night in" gift set for a female-only evening of pampering, or try a taste of romance with the rose-decorated Carmen Jones cake.

And if your sweetheart doesn't have a sweet tooth, Edible Arrangements has some "berry" delicious baskets that will still let him eat his heart out ($54-$240;! But if you're looking for a gift that will grow, why not consider a message bean? These seeds bloom to reveal the word "love" lasered onto one side of the bean, and a heart on the other ($12-$18; or And finally, flowers are always a favorite, but why not reach for the stars with a bouquet that's as big as you? The World's Tallest Roses come from the mountains of Ecuador, and average around 6 feet in height ($250 for one dozen;

If you're hoping to find something that's slightly off the beaten path, this is for you. Turn your romance into a racy adventure with! Select an exotic location, answer a few personal questions, choose either mild or wild, and submit a favorite photo and voila — you have a book all about you and your man ($50-$125;!

If it's diamonds you're dreaming of, a membership to could be the best invention you've ever heard of. The "Netflix" of jewelry, this Web site allows you to rent and return designer pieces at a fraction of the price ($24 and up;!

Foxers puts a flirtatious spin on lingerie with boxers for her ($24-$36; And finally, if you're looking for a love potion, NV Perricone's pheromone Synergy serum is said to heighten self-confidence and soothe the mind and body while attracting others to you. The product may be pricey, but who said money can't buy you love ($250;

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