This add-on board for the BeagleBone or BeagleBone Black allows easy prototyping using through-hole components. Available now on Tindie.
Noritake recently offered samples of these impressively bright 16 x 122 pixel graphical vacuum fluorescent displays. Their GU7000 Arduino library is easy to set up and use: it took just a couple of minutes to get out this message. I like!
The object of your desire will not be able to resist this heart shaped kitsch-o-tron, lovingly hand-crafted on perfboard with a CD4017B decade counter and 555 astable. But you probably can't go wrong with flowers and chocolates as well. Just to be on the safe side.