14 Feb 2014

<3 <3 <3

Comments Off Valentine's Day

Oh hello romance, today is your big day! ;)

If you’re like Rob & I and you’re still trying to think of ideas to celebrate with your boo, bff or group of friends, check out the wonderful Tania’s blog, Tania Explores Columbus. She’s compiled a great list of ideas for the weekend!

Also, I was sent an article from money.co.uk with great ideas for not breaking the bank this weekend. Thanks Ella for sending this my way!

And just for fun, this is a walk down Jess  & Rob’s Valentine’s Day memory lane…



2010 – our first official Valentine’s Day together :)


2011 – Friend-Love Day!


2012 – Indoor Picnic :)


2013 – Hocking Hills retreat with no picture. So this is a week after ;) 

Much Love & Happy Valentine’s Day,


08 Dec 2013

Season of Rest

2 Comments Aside

Hi $20Daters!

We’ve missed you!

As some of you might have noticed, I haven’t been around too much lately. The craziness of life finally caught up to me with a new job I started mid-September + finding out some really cool/awesome/amazing news around that same exact time…


Baby Buscemi will be making a debut in May 2014!

Rob & I are super excited :) And with all the excitement, we naturally went into a season of rest. And boy did we need some R & R! We won’t be gone for long though. Hang with us and keep an eye out for fun $20Dates in the near future (and some sweet date opportunities as well). ALSO, this would be a perfect time for anyone who has a secret desire to guest post – hint hint nudge nudge ;)

In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas season <3

Happy Dating,

Jess & Rob

19 Nov 2013

Guest Post #78: Capital Offense Book Date

3 Comments $20 Date, Clintonville, Guest Blog, Outdoor, Tastings

This week’s cheap & creative date is…

Local author’s formula for his perfect (unique) twist on a $20Date!

Prepare to have your mind blown.  Not only did I go on an amazing Twenty Dollar Date, but I’ve also got five boss rules that will revolutionize the way you woo your date.

Welcome to the world of Kurt Stevens, author of Capital Offense.

 Rule #1: Know who to date

There’s only one person that Kurt Stevens would go on a date with.  That person is Kurt Stevens.  I also brought along Kurt Stevens, because he’s the boss.  I guess that gives us $60 to spend, but I don’t need it.  $20?  That’s generous.

 Rule #2: Know how to party

samples_at_savor_growlYou don’t know how to party, unless you know how to party alone.

I started my date by grabbing a growler of beer from Savor Growl for $10.99.  That’s five beers of high-quality craft beer from the tap, in a take-home jug.  Plus there’s free samples from nice ladies.

Then I snagged a pint glass, and I kicked things off by drinking a beer alone in the dilapidated basement of an abandoned house.  That’s how a boss parties—alone, in a basement, preferably with asbestos.

 Rule #3: If you’re not making friends, you don’t have friends

What do you think I am, an alcoholic?  The boss is not an alcoholic.

shoeless_bumI found this shoeless bum in an alley to share my growler with.  I met him behind Savor Growl.  Dude needs glasses.  But you know what they say, “No shoes, no shirt, no social services.”

 Rule #4: Don’t take chances—take risks

We could all die tomorrow.  Asteroid.  Nuclear war.  So why eat food that you know is safe, when you can eat food from a stand that might kill you?  It’s a calculated risk.

best_in_townJudging from the fact that this gyro cart is the self-proclaimed BEST IN TOWN, it’s a good risk to take.  I won, it was delicious.  These gyros might just be the BEST IN TOWN.

How much for this calculated risk?  5 bones—you gotta eat.

 Rule #5: Never spend money when you can make money

Speaking of risks, they say you’ve got to spend money to make money–and you’ve got to have money to spend money.

That’s why my next move on this thrifty date with myself was to start an illegal back-alley craps game.  Don’t know the rules of craps? ME NEITHER.  That’s why it’s important to be the house.  As they say, he who has the back_alley_crapsgold makes the rules.

I brought in $40.  Look for my new website, negativetwentydollardates.com to be launched in a few weeks.

 Rule #6: Self-expression is important

You didn’t see that one coming, did ya?  The boss is unpredictable.  And a little bit sensitive inside.

I went to a free write-in at The Salt Mines, hosted by Columbus Creative Cooperative.  It was a great group of people who came together for a few hours of dedicated writing time, to work on their individual projects.

writing_with_the_teetotalerI sat next to this teetotaler who wouldn’t let me read what he was working on.  But it’s okay, I stole his pen when I left.

A creative, quiet end to a magnificent night with two great guys (me and myself), and a bunch of new friends.  That’s how the boss dates.

 Rule #7: There’s no such thing as a free lunch, unless someone provides a meal that you don’t pay for.

So far I’d spent about $16 and brought in about $40.  I didn’t set out to make money, so I stimulated the local economy.  I bought four bags of Grippo’s for a dollar apiece and gave them to that bum in the alley.  I started with $20 and went home with $20.  New website idea – breakevendates.com.

That’s why they call me Even Steven—Even Kurt Stevens.

Armed with these six rules for dating, you should have no trouble taking your date to the 20th level and not spending a dime.

On the other thirty days of the month, when you’re not out on a BOSS DATE, be sure to check out my serial novel, Capital Offense, which releases new chapters for free every weekday at www.CapitalOffenseBook.com.  It’ll keep you entertained during those lonesome times between dates with yourself.

There are two types of people, those who work for the world, and those who make the world work for them.  Which type of Twenty Dollar Dater are you?

If you like this date, find more at CapitalOffenseBook.com. Date Idea: Order take-out & read Capital Offense at home with your honey! Thanks Kurt Stevens for this unique take on a $20Date :)

05 Nov 2013

Guest Blogger Date #77: CoGo Bike Around the City + 16-Bit Bar

4 Comments $20 Date, Afternoon, Downtown, Fall, Friday, Guest Blog, Happy Hour, Monday, Morning, Night, Outdoor, Saturday, Spring, Summer, Sunday, Thursday, Tuesday, Wednesday

My name is Alphonso Laudat and I’ll be your guest blogger for today. I love exploring my fine city and going on dates. {I used to work with Alphonso and I think he’s pretty awesome. He’s very involved in everything cool in the Columbus scene & I was excited when he said he wanted to guest blog! :) }

date 2

This week’s cheap & creative date is…

A CoGo Bike Share ride + free video games at 16-Bit Bar!

What: A bike ride around downtown Columbus and an arcade for grown-ups
Where: Any CoGo Bike Share station around Columbus & 254 South Fourth Street
When: Any day of the week
WebsitesCoGo Bike Share + 16-BitBar + The Grange Insurance Audubon

Top reasons why this $20Date is awesome:

date 1Over the summer I got really into biking. I can’t help but see a bike, now, and analyze it. The bike that I built over the summer essentially became my girlfriend. We spent most of our days together and ventured the city together. We discovered a lot of hidden gems. I never got tired of rediscovering my city with my lady but I started to long for a partner. There were certain trails and sites that I would have liked to share with someone. I found the perfect candidate but she didn’t have a bike nor knew anybody who could lend her one. Luckily for us CoGo Bike Share arrived over the summer!

I came up with this idea for a date towards the tail end of summer, so I planned 2 versions; a cold weather and a hot weather. Originally it was supposed to be a picnic on Walhalla in Clintonville that would end up downtown, but since CoGo isn’t currently available in the area I had to narrow the range down of the date.

I always do my research when I think of dates. Everything is thought out; time, date, location, etc. So I had to figure this new CoGo service that has been in place for a few months. I found out that it is $6 for a bike and $12 for two bikes, which is actually the maximum amount allowed on one card (a yearly membership is around $75). You can have access to the bikes for up to 24 hours if you’re not a member. What you do is enter a 5 number code consisting of 1’s, 2’s, and/or 3’s within 5 minutes of receiving it. Since the purpose of the bike is to get you from point A to point B, you can use them for 30 minutes at a time without racking up a $9 fee. If you have a smart phone, you can download an app that shows you a map of where the docks are, how many bikes are available, and how many spots are available. I suggest downloading this app; you can even set a 30 minute timer.

date 3date 4

At any station we were able to ride to our destination–The Grange Insurance Audubon Center. The Audubon is gorgeous. The Center has rocking chairs on the porch, gardens, a nature store, and habitat areas. A wooden path zigzags down the middle of a small pond that many ducks call home. Often you can see people scaling the free rock climbing wall nearby, but my point of interest was the giant water tower protruding out the middle of the park. A case of stairs lead up a couple of platforms in the center. This is where we had a picnic.

date 5From the top platform, we not only over looked the park as if this was our personal Mount Olympus, but we also had a clear view of the skyline. Also, this is a great place to be when the sun sets. On this date we had bread, wine, cheese, and cookies since it wasn’t terribly cold out but the wine could have definitely been substituted for a hot cocoa. Playing the Neos Wall, which my date actually suggested when she saw it, kept us warm as well.date 6 This Neos Wall is basically a giant version of that Simon toy from the 90’s, where you would have to hit the lights that flashed. Neos had different games that you could play, by yourself or against another player. We had a blast running back and forth between hitting the lights, yet tackling the other so they couldn’t complete their objective. There are 3 levels of difficulty to pick from, I suggest playing when it’s darker out because it’s easier to see that way.

date 9We hopped onto the bikes docked at the Audubon after sunset and decided to pay the Bicentennial Park a visit by Milestone 229. We took the bike path along the Scioto in order to get there. The flashing lights from the front of our bikes produced a trippy affect in front of us. It looked like we were traveling down the same tunnel Alice used to get to Wonderland. At the end of the trail, we came out underneath a bridge to a beautiful, light up skyline with a solid black backdrop. The reflection ripples throughout the river.

date 12

Since the water works were still going on at this point, we rode our bikes through the puddles of water, don’t let CoGo find out though! I suggested playing tag and hide-n-seek through the gushing water and blinding mist, all while on bikes. It was so flipping awesome!


date 10After we docked our bikes, we walked to 16-Bit Bar for free video games. 16-Bit was the long awaited “arcade for adults” that opened up towards the end of the summer. “House rules,” are that you buy a drink before you start playing. PBR is Columbus go-to brew when you’re not trying to break the bank because they’re only $2 a pop. 16-Bit carries a lot of popular, nostalgic video games from the 80’s and early 90’s. The best thing is that they’re all free. You don’t have to insert any tokens or quarters, hence buying the drinks before you play. Not only do you save a lot of money, but you can actually beat games! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve died on each game. There are 42 games on the floor with some in the back, but there will be more next year when the second floor opens up. On this date, my partner and I played Time Crisis, which was essentially a team building experience. What better way to work on trust and teamwork than blasting every bad guy in sight while playing wildly successful arcade classic?!

Ladies and gents, this has to be the most epic date I’ve ever had the pleasure of going on. I’ve never had so much fun on a date before. A major plus was the fact that it only cost $16, including the $12 bike rentals that were good for a day and the $4 for the PBR’s. Of course there’s the matter of tipping, you pick how much.

TOTAL = 12 + 4 + = 16 (plus tip)

Happy Dating,

Alphonso :)

30 Sep 2013

Double Date #76: Perkins Observatory + UDF Ice Cream!

Comments Off $20 Date, Delaware, Fall, Friday, Night, Outdoor, Spring, Summer, Winter

This week’s cheap & creative date is…

Astronomy + Ice Cream!

(as seen on Good Day Columbus)

What: “The Place for Space” + delicious ice cream
Where: Near Delaware – 3199 Columbus Pike (Rt 23), Delaware 
When: Mosts Fridays @ 8p- buy tickets in advance here
website - Perkins Observatory


We met Justin & Raeann through Steve & Makenzie (remember them from our recent date to Ohio Theatre + Manifesto?:)) – Justin & Kenzie are siblings. We <3 Justin & Raeann -and always have a ton of fun with them! They are definitely two of our really good friends and we were excited at the idea of going on a double date with them! (shout out: Justin is the co-owner of Tomorrow’s Antiques and is an extremely talented finished carpenter!)

Top reasons why this $20Date is awesome:

  • Rob has been wanting to go to the Perkins Observatory for a long time now. So when Justin & Raeann suggested we go on a double date, Rob was SUPER excited when they decided we try Perkins Observatory:) 

Labor Day Weekend 2013

  • This date was awesome. When you first walk in the beautiful observatory (built in 1923), set far back from the road and surrounded by trees, you automatically feel like you’re  discovery a hidden treasure. You should arrive before 8p so you can wander around the old, beautiful building, read all the material they have in the library area, play old rocket launch games, and discovery many cool things about stars, our solar system and so much more.

Labor Day Weekend 20131

  • The tour officially starts right at 8, so be prompt! The director spoke with us for a little while, introduced the group to the Columbus Astronomical Society who would be assisting us that evening. He split the group in half and half went upstairs to the giant telescope in the dome & the other half went outside to the front lawn to view the galaxy through multiple different telescopes.
  • Your eyes adjust quickly to the darkness inside & outside and it’s very peaceful and relaxing. Looking through a telescope and seeing Saturn for the first time is one of the coolest things. We saw a lot of different stars, clusters and even saw a shooting star!
  • After our time in the front lawn, we walked upstairs to the giant telescope. We were all in awe. So giant and magnificent.

Labor Day Weekend 20132

  • We were one of the last groups to leave Perkins Observatory because Justin & Rob made friends with one member of the society and learned all about his telescope, saw many more stars and constellations and planned to save money together to buy one with gps coordinates. ;)
  • Afterward, we drove down Rt 23 and stopped at United Dairy Farmers for some late night ice cream – perfect for the fall weather that we’re now experiencing! Two cones set us $.10 over our $20 limit!

Labor Day Weekend 20133

Total: $8/person (must buy tickets in advance) + $4.10 for ice cream = $20.10!

Happy Dating & Happy Star Gazing,

PocketBook Jess