5 Tips for Hosting The Best Movie Night Ever

June 14, 2014 by sarah

One of my favorite things about my group of friends is how much everyone loves watching (and discussing!) good movies together. So for any of you other movie lovers out there who have thought about inviting some friends over to watch a flick together, our film pro Sarah is here today to offer some great tips for how to host an award-winning movie night that everyone will remember.

I’m on a quest. A quest to perfect The Art of Hosting Movie Nights. I am still early on my journey, but here are a few things I’ve learned so far.

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10 Things I Learned In El Salvador

June 8, 2014 by Ali

Ok, now I officially feel for all of the dear friends I ask to boil their entire lives down into ten things they have learned. I just returned my trip with Unbound to El Salvador, and I could barely narrow a week down to ten! Ha, seriously though, I have so many things that I want to share with you. And so many things that are still swirling around in my head and my heart that will probably take time to process, as tends to happen with these kind of trips.

But for those just tuning in, the short of the story is that I was invited to go to El Salvador with an organization called Unbound. I’m going to explain more about them in another post that I have begun writing. But in short, they are a non-profit that works primarily to help match sponsors with children and elderly people in 22 countries around the world who are living in poverty. And I’m a big fan of the thoughtful, sustainable, and progressive ways they go about doing that.

I have mentioned on here before that I’m also a big fan of Central America (and Spanish!). I actually grew up in a high school where the majority of students spoke Spanish, spent some extended time living and studying in Costa Rica, took a handful of volunteer trips to Mexico and Guatemala, and basically was planning for a career working with non-profs and Spanish-speakers either here in the States or abroad. Life obviously took some different turns, which have been great. But I still really think a lot about transitioning into more of this kind of work, so I was really excited about the idea of a collaboration between this sort of organization and the blogging that I also love.

That said, I have to admit that I was more than a little iffy about doing a short-term trip, as I have some fairly strong opinions (and a lot of experience) with short-term trips and “voluntourism”. Don’t worry, I won’t totally hop on my soap box here, but I do think it’s an issue that’s worth discussion. Because while intentions on the travelers’ end are usually pure and good and awesome, the effects of their trips on the people and local economies they visit not always so. Things that they assume might be a “help” can actually be a hindrance. And while I love to travel and meet new people and see organizations’ work on the ground, I also am very aware that these trips require a lot of time and money, and I think a lot about whether that time and money could be better invested to help organizations in more effective ways.

BUT…this trip was awesome. We didn’t build houses. We didn’t give out food. We sure as heck didn’t try to convert people. We were simply invited into the homes of many everyday people, and we shared stories. And then we came home and talked each evening and morning with the Unbound staff about what they see happening with the overall story of the country and social justice. It was simple, and it was good.

A huge part of that was due to the people. I loved my fellow bloggers who attended. I completely fell in love with the beautiful people of El Salvador. And I basically had my socks knocked off by Unbound as a whole, and the compassionate and smart approaches they are taking to help empower and equip the people of El Salvador. Guys, they are the real deal. And for someone who is very cautious about throwing my endorsement behind an organization that works with such vulnerable people, I can confidently say that they now have my complete respect and support. I learned a ton from them.

But to spare you a ton, how about we start with just ten… :)

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10 Things I’ve Learned: Sara

June 1, 2014 by Ali

As this post is being published today, I’m flying down to El Salvador with Unbound. And much of that is because of this lovely friend right here.

Everyone, meet Sara.

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June in Movies

June 1, 2014 by sarah

Gimme Some Live has previews of three June new releases including The Fault in Our Stars, Edge of Tomorrow, and Obvious Child.

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10 Things I’ve Learned: Tara

May 18, 2014 by Ali

Friends, meet Tara.

I had the pleasure of meeting her myself when I was a college freshman and she was one of my RAs at our tiny liberal arts college in rural Kansas.

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Learning to Love Monster Movies

May 17, 2014 by sarah

The monster movie genre is such an important part of our cinematic storytelling culture, that I really, really want to convince you to give it a second chance. Read on for four common complaints about monster movies, and the flicks that will help you move past ‘em.

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Why I’m Not “Online Dating”

May 15, 2014 by Ali

Guesssss who’s still single??

Good guess. And actually I just had a birthday, so I suppose we need to find a new name for this 30 and Single series. I have an idea up my sleeve that I may share soon.

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31 Things

May 6, 2014 by Ali

31, we’re a few days in and I have to say — you’re lookin’ good.

I have no idea what this year will bring, but I do know that I love making lists. So I came up with 31 things that I would love to make happen this year. Nothing major. Just a random collection of ideas that seem quite perfect for a 31st year of life. So for anyone interested, I thought I’d share them with you today. Feel free to follow along this year on Instagram at @gimmesomeoven, and with the hashtag #gimme31. And hey, if you decide to create a list for your birthday, be sure to let me know too. I love reading other people’s lists!!

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