Nick Lachey's Romantic Valentine's Day Gift

02/19/2008 at 04:00 PM EST

Nick Lachey's Romantic Valentine's Day Gift
Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo
Jackson Lee - Ahmad Elatab/Splash News Online

Nick Lachey

Nick Lachey

When it came time to give his girlfriend of over a year a Valentine's Day present, Nick Lachey was stumped.

"We have the same birthday in November. Then it's Christmas and then all of a sudden it's Valentine's Day," he told PEOPLE at a Hot Wheels event in New York City. (A diamond-studded car will be auctioned off later in the year and proceeds will benefit one of Nick's favorite charities, Big Brothers/Big Sisters.) "At that point, what else are you gonna [get]? So I try to be a little bit creative and think, 'All right, what can I do that's going to be a little different and special?'"

His solution? "I wrote her a song," Lachey, 34, dished. "I put down a demo of it. It's one of those things where [I've] gotten her plenty of things in the past but you want to think a little bit outside the box."

As for Minnillo, she surprised her man with Apple TV ("I think it's awesome!" he gushed), and the two celebrated with a romantic (albeit early: 5 p.m.!) dinner in California. (He had to make a flight that evening.)

"She and I are a lot alike," Lachey said, adding that while they're still not engaged, they've very happy. "What I've always loved about her is she's just real chill – we'll go play darts in the bar and have a pint – kind of girl. She's low-key and low-maintenance and we just have a good time."

So low-key, in fact, that the two have been hanging out at home quite a bit lately. "She and I are both easy-going – [We'll] rent a movie, [eat] pizza," he says. "[And] she's a great cook. She cooks a lot actually – chicken enchiladas, casseroles, lasagnas. ... She's definitely doing it right!"

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters