A guide to finding the perfect V-Day gift

Credit: Michelle Liu | Photo Staff Credit: Michelle Liu | Photo Staff Credit: Michelle Liu | Photo Staff Credit: Michelle Liu | Photo Staff Credit: Michelle Liu | Photo Staff Credit: Michelle Liu | Photo Staff Credit: Michelle Liu | Photo Staff Credit: Michelle Liu | Photo Staff

It’s that time of year again. The shelves of Squirrel Hill’s chocolate shop, the Chocolate Moose, have been lined with dazzlingly edible designs, posters plastered all over campus hint at Crew’s upcoming rose sale on the Cut, and stores of every specialty have been stocking red and pink goods. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and already local businesses have been trying to put a heart-warming feel on their products. But just how do you find the right gift for your significant other or your sweetheart-to-be? The best option is to get something that you know that your valentine will enjoy. It doesn’t always have to be chocolate and flowers; sometimes going with a more exotic option can be fun for the both of you. What follows is a list of gifts to consider for jazzing up your Valentine’s Day celebrations.

For the chocoholic: Love it or not, the sweet cacao compound is a traditional part of Valentine’s Day. That doesn’t mean that you have to give it traditionally, though. The Chocolate Moose is the place to go for this one. If you and your valentine have a sweet tooth and are hungry for some adventure, try some jars of chocolate body paint and brushes that are available here, along with some chocolate lovers’ dice and more. If you’re just starting out in a relationship, then try a new twist on candy: chocolate-covered pretzels or a mix of confections.

For the classic romantic: Roses are also emblematic of the season. If you’re looking to spice things up, use the flowers as something other than a decoration meant for vases. The petals are a romantic and fun way to make a scavenger hunt of sorts for your sweetheart to follow to reach your gift. Or choose a way to give your roses that’s not so conventional. For example, if you know that your boyfriend works long hours at his desk, talk with his roommate and arrange to have the flowers placed there before he wakes up. Got a girlfriend who loves to read? Stick a rose in one of her books as a bookmark.

For the musician: If your partner in crime loves music, whether it’s being able to identify all the songs on the radio at Skibo Coffeehouse or playing guitar in spare time, give him or her something that complements his or her tastes as well as reminds him or her of you. A mixtape is a fun, retro way of showing your feelings and giving your significant other something new for their MP3 player. Choose songs that the both of you have found special meaning in.

For the city explorer: Going out and going places is a great way to spend Valentine’s Day. Instead of going to the movies and checking out the chick flicks, go some place you haven’t been to in a while. Chill out in a café in the South Side or check out the newly renovated Dozen Bake Shop in Squirrel Hill. Take a bus somewhere you and your sweetheart have never been before and then have fun laughing and navigating your way back. You’ll find some neat shops and locales when you let yourself wander.

For the environmentally friendly: Initially, giving potted plants might seem the only thing to come to mind, but there’s a lot more than that available in Pittsburgh. While gardening is great, you can find sustainable gifts at Equita, a local retailer that specializes in ethical, green, and socially responsible gifts. Equita carries perfume made from pure flowers without chemicals added, handmade jewelry from artisans in Bali and Ecuador, and organic clothing that’s sweatshop-free.

For the glamorous and charismatic: Everyone can tell when this kind of person walks in a room. For girls, it seems like the only way to go is high-end jewelry, but you don’t need to go that far to give a gift that impresses. Try Michele Baratta Jewelry, which has a variety of earrings and necklaces available under $50. The shop’s specialty is a picture frame necklace, in which you can arrange to have a picture of you and your significant other placed. It’s sweet, and it lets your partner have a picture of you with them to look at all day long.

For the whimsical and dreamy: Dating someone with a great imagination, or someone who just likes to spend free time dreaming up stories? These people like to be surprised, so going with just roses or chocolate might strike them as a little too mainstream. Try getting people like them something new and quirky, like Momiji dolls. Momiji are small Japan-inspired dolls that have a message slip tucked into them that you can write a love note on. Or, try a piece from Airy Fairy Jewelry, a shop that bases its creative and cute designs on fairy lore and legend. All jewelry is handmade and each item has a story that goes along with it