Cheap Date: Roller Skating and Milkshakes

David and I enjoyed a great time with friends on Tuesday night, at the Rollerskating Rink in Pensacola. We carpooled with a vanful of our friends and neighbors down to the rink. Tuesdays were $2.50 admission and $2 skate rentals, and we used a buy one, get one free admission coupon from the rink’s website. After renting blades and skates and splitting an Arby’s chocolate shake afterwards, we spent $10 for a few hours of fun with friends, some romantic hand-holding, and really great exercise. (The exercise justified the chocolate shake afterwards.)

File this idea away in your cheap date files and start looking for a good rink near you!

When Crafting Meets Well-Loved Books . . .

. . . then happy hours are spent with pens and paint and glue and inspiring raw materials: an old leather wallet box, a brown paper notebook from Staples, a mug and a horse plucked off the Goodwill shelf, a shirt from the Bargain Box, and of course multiple old copies of “The Fellowship of the Ring.” Music from “The Lord of the Rings: The Rarities Archive” is playing on iTunes and pages of notes and designs are piled around me.  And getting notes sent through Etsy from folks who love their purchases and love Middle Earth too is just piling happiness on happiness for me.

All new items are available to purchase from the shop.

Homemade Flavored Sugars

It’s hard to beat homemade gifts of the delicious variety! These sweet little jars make a pretty package for infused sugars—one orange and the other vanilla. Simply mix 3/4 cup of sugar with the grated rind of one orange or half of the scraped seeds of a vanilla bean. (Get your vanilla beans in bulk on Amazon or eBay!) Then go to town with hot drinks, crumb toppings, and more for an extra-strong shot of flavor!

Jolly Good Book

Oh, for a booke and a shadie nooke,
Eyther in doore or out;
With the grene leaves whispering overhead
Or the street cryes all about;
Where I maie reade all at my ease,
Both of the newe and olde;
For a jollie goode booke whereon to looke
Is better to me than golde.
W. R. Inge

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Yes, you do see a pattern here with these recent blog posts! It’s been so fun for me to try making things that before I thought you could only buy from a container at the grocery store. 🙂 Here’s a few shots of the “finished” product (although I’m waiting a few months for it to cure) and here’s the recipe I followed. I did stick to it (surprise, surprise!) besides doubling the recipe. I used vodka, not rum. Tip: for those of you have never bought vodka before and think you can get it from Publix, apparently you can’t. You have to go to the liquor store (is there are reputable liquor store in Crestview?). I drove up to this seedy place and, not seeing any other cars in the parking lot, parked, entered, made a beeline for the vodka, bought the cheapest bottle for the size that I could find, and left. That was my excitement for the day.