Valentine’s Day 2012: Let me do your shopping.

Yep, it’s early. I’m putting the Valentine’s Day giveaway up to allow plenty of time for the winner to receive the package and re-gift it.

That is, if the winner really wants to – the items range from the sublime to the ridiculous. All might be hard to turn loose once you see them.

Let’s start with the sublime: three new kinds of chocolate.

Made you look, didn’t I? This part of the giveaway is sponsored by the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. The trio of 3.5-oz. bars represent the company’s new “Ghirardelli Gourmet Milk” line, and they are all delicious. (Don’t worry – I didn’t sample yours. The company kindly sent tester bars.)

All are made with 32% cacao milk chocolate. Lately I’ve been developing a taste for a more bitter chocolate, but these bars lured me back from the dark side, as it were.

Hands-down best is the Gourmet Milk Coconut Rendezvous, made with toasted coconut. As a kid I liked coconut Easter eggs and as an adult I like Mounds bars, but the toasted coconut combined with creamy milk chocolate is the best coconut confection I’ve ever had.

Ultimate praise: It’s so good that I only need to eat a small piece at a time. That’s true of all three flavors, in fact – and this is coming from a woman who would eat a couple of Kit Kats or Hershey bars at a sitting if common sense didn’t say “Knock it off, you.”

Premium lines like Ghirardelli last longer because they’re such a terrific indulgence. When I get a bag of those Ghirardelli squares, I eat only one per sitting because that’s all I need. I eat it slowly, really savoring the flavor and what the foodies call the “mouth feel” of the chocolate. It’s like the difference between a store-brand fudgesicle and a bowl of Haagen-Dazs.

If you have only a small budget for treats, I say get the best ones you can and enjoy them fully. A small square of good chocolate makes a great impact in your brown-bag lunch or as an after-dinner treat. And as you frugalists probably already know, Ghirardelli sometimes puts coupons in the Sunday inserts. That’s talking my language.

The other two flavors are Sea Salt Escape (toasted almonds and sea salt) and Creamy Devotion (just the 32% cacao chocolate, for purists). Since they’re decent-sized bars, they’ll last your recipient (or you) quite a while.

Next item in the giveaway is from Victoria’s Secret: a small purple bag with lotion, body wash and fragrance mist. The scent is the company’s “Love Spell” and the bottles range from 4.2 to 8.4 oz.

Finally we come to the ridiculous part of the evening’s festivities: the Love Gun.

If you thought the Chicken Chucker was fun, wait until you start firing Cupids all around the office, the coffeehouse or the singles bar. Trying to get a cute guy’s attention? Bounce Eros off his elbow. Don’t aim any higher – you could put someone’s eye out with this thing.

To enter:

If you do any (or all!) of these things, please leave separate, additional comments to get credit for each entry.

The deadline is 9 p.m. PST Monday, Jan. 30. And keep the new rule in mind: If I do not hear back from the winner by Wednesday night, I will choose another name. So if you’re entering the contest, check your e-mail or risk forfeiting the goods.

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  1. Jeannine Moss

    What a great Valentine prize. Hope I win.

  2. Sounds like fun.

  3. teinegurl

    Please enter me i dont have a sweethart but you will be one if u pick me 🙂 lol

  4. KimberlyHMN

    Love Spell is my favorite!

  5. KimberlyHMN

    I subscribe to the RSS!

  6. Maureen g

    What a fun gift to receive! Hope I win!!

  7. Chocolate ?? Love Chocolate ! Count me in for the drawing .

  8. I doubt the chocolate will last very long in my house between the husband and the kids, but I would love to win.

  9. I subscribe via RSS.

  10. What a fun giveaway! Thank you so much!
    jackievillano at gmail dot com

  11. I subscribe via email
    jackievillano at gmail dot com

  12. I follow on facebook
    jackievillano at gmail dot com

  13. Carnette


  14. This would be fun to have!

  15. I also subscribe to your emails.

  16. Make my day, pick me this time!

  17. I also subscribe to your e-mails!

  18. Elizabeth

    Love it!

  19. Elizabeth

    I subscribe via email.

  20. Cupid gun or chocolate…either one would make me happy!

  21. Via email, I subscribe to both yours and your daughter’s “I Pick Up Pennies” musings.

  22. Would love this. Thanks.

  23. I subscribe via email.

  24. Samantha

    Donna- you should make a trip to San Francisco to Ghirardelli Square– talk about indulgent, you’d love it!

  25. Samantha

    I subscribe via email and this article was in my inbox this morning!

  26. Samantha

    I follow you on Facebook, too.

  27. Chocolate is a love spell as far as I’m concerned;)

  28. I subscribe by email.

  29. I follow on twitter.

  30. Veronica

    A cupid chucker? LOL! The chocolate sounds great!

  31. Veronica

    I also subscribe to your RSS feed

  32. Veronica

    And I follow on FaceBook. Thanks for your giveaways!

  33. Tammy Lane

    I’d really like to try the Sea Salt chocolate;}

  34. Thanks Donna. After reading that, I am now desperate for a bar of chocolate!!!!

  35. mrs short

    Love Gun! Love Spell! Chocolate! Yes, please 🙂 I subscribe via email.

  36. mrs short

    and this facebook follower now has a hankerin’ for chocolate!

  37. What a fun giveaway! Thanks, Donna.

  38. Carol the Long Winded

    me! me!

  39. Carol the Long Winded

    Facebook follower

  40. Carol the Long Winded

    RSS subscriber

  41. MMMMM the love gun! I SO want this.

  42. I’m in.

  43. ImJuniperNow

    Hmm. That Love Gun looks like a naighty toy. I simply must have it!

    Oh, and Donna, you’re not early at all. My Dollar Store had the Valentine’s Day (and the Easter and the St. Patty’s Day) stuff out before New Year’s Eve.

    I didn’t buy any as a protest – Although I feared all the fuzzy peeping chicks would be sold out. Winning this would show me I was right!


  44. ImJuniperNow

    I meant naughty. See how into this I am?!!

  45. All Looks good. Yum!

  46. KimberlyHMN

    I follow on FB!

  47. Katie Schulz

    Yum, chocolate.

  48. If I won this I would have to make the very difficult decision whether I should eat the chocolate myelf or give it to my Valentine.

  49. I follow you on Facebook.

  50. jestjack

    This would be the perfect touch for Valentine’s Day for DW. I agree few things as good as a Mounds bar. Another “local” favorite in this neck of the woods….”Berger cookies” ….basically a big dollop of dark choclate cake frosting sitting a top a small cookie. They are fantastic and you only “need” one ..or….two…or….

  51. Ro in San Diego

    I subscribe by emails and desperately want to win the love gun and the chocolate sounds yummy too!

  52. delicious!

  53. I subscribe via RSS

  54. I like you on facebook

  55. I would surely love to win the package, especially the chocolate. I definitely LOVE chocolate-LOL!

  56. Diana Bombach

    Normally we don’t exchange Valentine’s Day gifts but this would make a fun exception.

  57. Diana Bombach

    I like you on Facebook.

  58. Diana Bombach

    I subscribe via reader.

  59. Oh, my. You had me at chocolate! But I think I could enjoy indulging in the scent package and the Cupid chucker as well…

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  60. I’m an email subscriber.

  61. Yum! Well marketing works. Even if I do not win I will scout out those flavored. With coupons if possible!

  62. Did someone say chocolate? And for heavens sake, I live in hillbilly haven…there is always a call for guns of any sort…not to mention somethin’ to make you smell purty… 🙂

  63. I receive emails

  64. hooked up on fb too

  65. These flavors sound really great. I love coconut too, so I may have to buy that one if I don’t win.

  66. I subscribe via RSS.

  67. Jennifer

    I’d love the chocolate!

  68. Yummy, chocolate and coconut! Thanks for your funny blog.

  69. I was looking for something to send to Grandma for Valentine’s Day. This would be perfect!

  70. Yum! Gourmet chocolate! Thank you for the giveaway!

  71. I’m an email subscriber.

  72. I follow on twitter (moeyshay)

  73. Alexandra Siguenza

    Chocolate would be enough of a prize, but a love gun? Fabulous!

  74. Sounds great! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  75. Marcia Carli

    Outstanding Giveaway! The chocolate would be great to give my Mom who is sick right now and my boys who love it and rarely eat it.
    What a special treat!

  76. cindieamarillas

    I subscribe by email and follow you on facebook!

  77. I would love to win, especially when the prize is chocolate!

  78. I subscribe by email

  79. I follow you on twitter @drmomoftwo

  80. Love your blog! And chocolate!

  81. Love the blog and chocolate is a favourite! I follow you by email.

  82. This is one of the favourite blogs I follow and like on Facebook!

  83. Just wanted to comment that I love the giveaway you’re offering for dear ol’ Valentine’s Day. Keep up the good work!

  84. What is life without chocolate? Count me in :)!!

  85. Those chocolates sound wonderful!

  86. Okay, you’ve got me salivating, especially with the chocolate/coconut combination! Glad to hear I wouldn’t have to share that lol

  87. Susannah

    Love your articles. I went back to finish college around the time you did and could really relate.

  88. That chocolate sounds amazing!

  89. OK, you talked me into it!

  90. Facebook too.

  91. This is my first email from you. Looking forward to more.

  92. This is the most fun giveaway I’ve seen in a while!
    (pick me…pick me…)

  93. Fun, fun, fun. Please enter me in the drawing.


  94. A combo of delish & fun!

  95. I’m a facebook fan.

  96. I’m an email subscriber.

  97. I get the rss feed too.

  98. Please pick me!

  99. I would love to win!

  100. No regifting here! The chocolate is all mine, mine, mine!!!! *grabs it and runs off* Oh, and I follow by email, yeah I know way old school but what can you expect from someone who doesn’t even have a cell phone ? ;-P

  101. Love the chocolate, not too sure about the love gun.

  102. I’m a happy follower and I’m a little disappointed with the love gun. I was hoping for something a little more naughty with a title like that. But I’m sure I can find someone to shoot with it. Are they blanks?

  103. I subscribe via e-mail. And my previous comment was way more witty than this one.

  104. I also follow you on facebook. This is the most boring comment of the three I’ve left. Is there anyway to liven it up? Hmmmmmm, a love gun, chocolate and lotion-I have an idea.

  105. Sounds fun, but my husband will be far more into the chocolate than the lotion!

  106. All in fun. Anything for chocolate.

  107. Holly Samlan

    DIL, like me, prefers dark BUT both DDs prefer milk.

    Both DDs regulary work out so the Vic Ssecret bag is ideal.

    I am sure one of the grands would “love” the shooter (love gun) while having NO idea of its meaning.

    That just leaves shopping for me, DIL and 3 grands.

  108. I love chocolate!!!!

  109. I’m always looking for new good-smelling lotions!

  110. Maybe the love gun will help me snag a guy for next v-day?

  111. Okay, Donna, I have to win once, right? I’m in…

  112. Sandra J

    The chocolate might be too good to share with my husband!

  113. Sandra J

    I subscribe by email

  114. Sandra J

    And Facebook!

  115. Tracy Stone

    Fun! All for me, too! No sharing…

  116. Alissa A

    I’m an email subscriber. captainliss(at)gmail(dot)com

  117. I’d like to win the chocolates to give to my wife.

  118. I’m an RSS subscriber.

  119. Love the chocolate, but the gun wouldn’t help me 🙂

  120. Would love the lotion for my chapped skin. Love your posts via rss.

  121. would love to win the chocolates

  122. rss subscriber

  123. I’d love to be entered!

  124. I’m subscribed to your RSS feed.

  125. I’m following you on twitter (@pennypinchpro).

  126. You are such an inspiration! Thank you for creating this blog and for your giveaways!

  127. Mmmm, tasty chocolate… Well, I could share….

  128. And I follow you on facebook.

  129. And on twitter too!

  130. Nancy from Mass

    The Love Gun? That is hilarious! although, any would be fine. 🙂

  131. Oh man! Do I LOVE chocolate!

  132. email subscriber!

  133. rosa rugosa

    Th chocolate would be wonderful 🙂

  134. I receive your emails as well! Thank you!!!!

  135. What a giveaway! Crossing fingers!

  136. You had me at chocolate and coconut.

  137. I’m a subscriber!

  138. maryegankirk

    please enter me in this luscious giveaway! thank you!

  139. Sign me up. I love the recieve it in time to regift. 🙂 How like you Donna….

  140. Just love chocolate.

  141. please enter me! Thanks!

  142. I would love to win this! I follow via Google Reader.

  143. I want the love gun!!! I need to shoot someone with it!! 🙂

  144. Nonnie83

    The Ghirardelli chocolate/coconut bar sounds fabulous!

  145. i love chocolate and smelly good lotion!!!

  146. The best parts of valentine’s day: chocolate & humor!

  147. Sounds like a fun contest!

  148. Guns and chocolate? MY kinda raffle!

  149. Bring on the love gun! And, of course, the chocolates!

  150. lol, funny how a gun is mentioned here. chocolates are always present for vday though 🙂

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