Ali Fedotowsky and Kevin Manno
Deano/Splash News Online
07/26/2013 at 08:00 AM EDT
is one lucky girl.
Sure, her two attempts at finding love by way of reality television didn't pan out.
But 2013 finds the former Bachelorette hosting NBC's travel show 1st Look
, making a cameo in Woody Allen's new film Blue Jasmine
– and getting strangely romantic presents from boyfriend Kevin Manno
"We were on a hike on Mulholland, and we saw this dog that looked like a panda, so we started calling it 'Pand-Dog-Bear,' " the 28-year-old told PEOPLE with a giggle at Blue Jasmine
's L.A. premiere on Thursday night.
"So, we started making jokes about it. And for a gift he got a stuffed dog animal, and a stuffed panda animal. He decapitated them both, actually sewed the heads onto the other bodies, and he gave me one, and he kept the other. And they are now our 'Pand-Dog-Bears'!"
An unusual gesture, to be sure – but Fedotowsky couldn't have been more thrilled.
"So many women talk about the gifts that they get, and they're like, 'Flowers!' 'Chocolates!' " she says. "And I'm like, 'No! A decapitated stuffed animal is real love!' It was the sweetest, most romantic gift that I have ever received."
Fedotowsky and Manno, 30 – the host of Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition
on Lifetime – were introduced through a producer on her show. They built off of a foundation of being friends first, and Fedotowsky now revels in the quirkiness of her new relationship.
"Honestly? He is the best man I know," she gushed. "Every day he does something that makes me pinch myself because I know that I'm super, super lucky."