Guest Guru: Out of the Box Valentine’s Day Gifts

February 2, 2012    |    By +
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After serving as a guest judge for our Giftee Awards, Dawn Sandomeno, graciously enough has offered to share her entertaining expertise with us.

As one half of the dream team behind Party Bluprints, she and her partner Elizabeth Mascali have been dishing out helpful advice and guides to hosting and throwing the perfect party for any occasion.

This Valentine’s Day think out of the box (the chocolate box that is) and show just how special your love is with a unique gift idea for her or him.

3 tips for thinking out of the box with your Valentine’s Day gift:

  • Start thinking about a gift early and you won’t be caught buying a last minute one.  Supermarket flowers or chocolates won’t win you extra kisses!
  • Remember that you don’t always have to buy a gift – mix and match buy and DIY ideas. It shows that you put time and thought into your gift.  These earn extra kisses!
  • Food is the way to a man’s heart” and a woman’s– this is true!

Here are some of my favorite ideas for out of the box chocolate gifts:

1. Make dinner for him. Put a chocolate twist on chili – a traditional dude food. Chili with Chipotle and Chocolate from

2. Gift him these cool Godiva Chocolate Cigars and light a fire!

3. Pair chocolate with bacon, it’s outrageous! Bake him a chocolate and bacon cake recipe.

4. I love this idea!  Hot chocolate on a stick. It’s perfect for stirring up some love.  Invite her to take a time-out by the fire, listen to music while you sip on some hot chocolate.

5.  Fondue is fun and a really romantic way to eat. Create a chocolate fondue dessert bar for her. These Chocolate Fondue Pots make it so easy, just pop them in the microwave! You can also purchase a Chocolate Fondue kit.

6.  Show your sweetie pie you love her – Whoopie Pies are all the rage right now and these pretty heart shaped ones make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

Dawn has been featured on NBC TODAY Show, Fox TV Good Day NY, Good Housekeeping, Consumer Report’s Smart Shopper, Redbook Magazine, Martha Stewart Living Radio, Fox News Strategy Room, CBS NY2, and have their very own published guide, “Plan to Party”.

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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.