Gimme Some Oven

(re)meet ali!

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Yep, that’s me!

I wasn’t planning to include a writer’s interview post on this site, since many of you have already been following along with me on Gimme Some Oven for weeks, months, or even years (3.5 now!). But after introducing the three new writers in interviews on the other “Gimme Some” sites, they turned the questions back on me for the launch of Gimme Some Life.

So without further ado… :)

Interview with Ali

Bet: What led you to expand the blog?

Ali: I have actually been wanting to expand the site beyond food for a long time. I adore cooking and sharing recipes and everything that’s happening over at Gimme Some Oven, but I feel like there are so many other things I’m passionate about as well. So started dreaming about expanding what it might look like for the site to include to some of my other favorite hobbies (reading, film/tv, crafting, decor, travel, etc.). But then I realized it would take some extra help, and that I already had some amazing friends in my life who would be perfect to contribute on some new sites! Still pinching myself about how everything just came together so naturally and that my super-amazing brother-in-law, Jeff, agreed to do yet another site redesign for me. (Doesn’t it look great?!?)

Sarah: When you think about what you want your life to be like in 10 years, what do you see?

Ali: I am getting ready to turn 30 in a few months, so have actually been thinking about that a lot lately. I have no idea what I will be doing career-wise in 10 years. (Which, when I think about it, food blogging wasn’t even around 10 years ago — so who knows what new opportunities could arise in the next decade!)  But I do know that I love to keep learning, and find joy and meaning in my work, so I look forward to seeing where the ride may lead.

More than that, though, I hope that my 30’s will be marked by amazing memories made with amazing friends. My friends and family are some of the greatest gifts of my life, and I want to share whatever moments I can with them. I would also love to travel, spend more time volunteering and investing where there is need in Kansas City, record an album of some sort, brush up on my Spanish, memorize more Scripture, and discipline myself to actually print out photos. :)

Liz: When did you discover your passion for cooking?

I get asked that a lot. Honestly, I just really love to eat good food, so much of my love for cooking comes out of necessity. ;)

But my mom always had a dinner on the table nearly every night growing up, and instilled in my sister and me the values of fresh, well-balanced and delicious meals. Once I reached college, and the novelty of the endless tater tots and ice cream machine wore off, I began to really miss the homemade recipes I loved. So I started calling my mom for recipes, searched some of the (few) recipe sites that were on the web at the time, and taught myself how to cook! Thankfully I had a willing group of college friends who would serve as “taste-testers” anytime I put out the invitation, and my roommates laughed it off when I would have the occasional kitchen fire in our apartment. As time went on, I began to improvise more and create my own recipes, and then randomly decided on a whim to start a blog of my own to catalogue my favorite recipes to share with friends and family. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined it would grow into the site this is today!


  • Recipe: Oy. I have no idea how to choose!!! I love any excuse to make these chicken enchiladas (made with this heavenly homemade enchilada sauce and served with homemade guacamole). But otherwise, I have a zillion favorites!
  • Book: My favorite as a kid was always “Jane Eyre“, and I still love re-reading it and enjoying the film and broadway adaptations. But probably my favorite of all time is “Gilead“. Some of the most beautiful prose and wisdom I’ve ever read.
  • TV Shows: Currently loving: Mad Men, The Mindy Project, Parenthood, Chopped, Modern Family and I just began Homeland. (*Sidenote: I recently scored on Craigslist and got a huge tv for practically nothing, so for the first time in years, I’m watching more shows on an actual TV screen than my computer. I had forgotten how nice a big screen can be!*)
  • DIY Creation: I did the “book wreath” project long before it was popular on Pinterest, and love mine. But my favorite projects are probably the DIY Christmas gifts and ornaments I make each year. Have made all sorts of fun and random projects. Homemade is the best!!!
  • Comfort food: Egg drop soup all the way, baby. My family used to eat lunch at our neighborhood Chinese restaurant every Saturday, and I would always order an enormous bowl of egg drop soup. It is still my favorite to make homemade or order out.
  • Piece of furniture: I adore my dark wood dining table. The girl who owned my loft before me asked if I wanted to buy it from her, and without a beat I said “yes”! It is just what I’ve always wanted and makes me happy every time I see it — especially when a bunch of friends are seated around it.
  • Place you’ve traveled: Probably Costa Rica. I had the chance to live with a host family there some in high school and college, and fell in love with the country and the people. (And if you’re looking for a place to travel, it has everything in one — mountains, volcanoes, beaches, rain forests, plains, you name it!)  Also have especially loved visiting Tuscany, Zambia and Guatemala.
  • Signature fashion accessory: Scarves. Slightly obsessed. :)
  • 4-Legged Friend: My sweet pup Henry.
  • Way to spend a Saturday afternoon: Going for an extra-long walk with a friend and then coming home to my loft to cozy up with a book or craft project.
  • Place to hang in Kansas City: Quay Coffee, our neighborhood coffee shop. (If you follow me on Instagram, I apologize in advance that half of my pictures are from there!)  The City Market. And generally, just anywhere in Kansas City with friends!

Tell us a little bit about what is ahead for Gimme Some Life. What sorts of posts can readers look forward to each week?

Right now, I’m going to try to practice the art of spontaneity (a stretch for me!) and just see where things go! But for sure, you can expect to see:

  • Thoughts: Look forward to just processing through different thoughts/issues here. From the day-to-day details of life, to world events, to issues, to faith, to art, to just basically how to make the most of each day, and beyond…excited to just start some new conversations!
  • Favorites: Anything that’s at the top of my list right now – music, projects, articles, blogs, places, you name it!
  • Photos: Just warning you that my pup may pop up on here now and then. And hopefully some other photos too. Looking forward to hopefully starting a new Photo 365 project again in 2013.
  • Travel: I have a bunch of trips planned over the next year. Look forward to sharing some of those with you!
  • FAQs: More in-depth answers to any reader questions I might receive. (I receive a ton of emails about photography and blogging – would love to dive in a little deeper there!)

Now the final question actually goes out to you as our readers.

Is there anything YOU would like to see ahead on Gimme Some Life?

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6 comments on “(re)meet ali!”

  1. egg drop soup, huh? interesting. i’ve always thought of it as rather nondescript. but now that i think of it, there is something rather soothing about it… hrm.

  2. Ali – we LOVE you Egg Drop Soup recipe! My six year-old asks for it almost weekly! In fact, we ate it for supper on Saturday!

  3. Yes!! So excited to hear more about your life on the blog while you still keep the recipes coming. Also excited about the 365 photo project….keep me posted on that, maybe I’ll join you. I’m always looking for inspiration to get my real camera out instead of being stuck behind a cell phone so it may be good inspiration.

  4. You’re so adorable! Love this!

  5. Loved learning more about you!! Do you have an egg drop soup recipe you love??