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Movie Maven: A Lil Red Guide To Film Festival Etiquette

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Movie Maven: A Lil Red Guide To Film Festival Etiquette

Hello everyone and happy Hump Day! Summer brings about a variety of activities that some people spend the whole year looking forward to. Vacations, concerts, baseball games, and film festivals. I am sure that most of you already know that I am an avid movie lover. Of course, my favorite genre is horror by far but I love it all. Psychological thrillers, foreign films, comedies, rom-coms, the occasional Western, action, documentaries – you name it. The world of film is an all inclusive, creative, free for all with something for everyone, which is what makes it so beautiful.

Asking me about my favorite films always results in a five minute babble of my “I could watch this every day and not get bored” flicks. Every movie that you watch has the potential to become your new favorite and that’s what makes going out to the cinema, renting from the RedBox, and attending film festivals so exciting. You are twenty minutes in previews away with entering a new world for an hour or two. And even if the flick was the worst thing ever, you still got to eat popcorn and candy for the duration of the film. It’s a win/win for everyone.

A night at the movies is fun – but could you imagine a day at a film festival? A day devoted entirely to the up and coming films for the year? Talk about heaven! And another cool part about attending a film festival? The traveling! July 19th through the 22nd is the Anthem Film Festival in Las Vegas. And the movies that are seen in Vegas are sure to not stay there for long! Be sure to check out Vegas.com for the best hotel and flight packages for your stay and then let’s talk some film festival pro tips:

Be A Social Butterfly!

You already have one thing in common with literally every single person at the festival – a love for film. This sounds like the perfect icebreaker to me! Chat it up with anyone and everyone after the credits have rolled because you never know who you’re going to meet. From directors and actors to behind the scenes workers and industry professionals, a film festival is the best place to network if you are interested in any aspect of the vast world of cinema. Get your business cards ready and spread your wings, you beautiful and capable butterfly.

Dress To Impress:

You know how I said that you never know who you’re going to meet at a film festival? If not, let me repeat it: YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU’RE GOING TO MEET AT A FILM FESTIVAL!!! Dressing to impress is absolutely crucial for this reason. During the day, you can get away with a comfy cool look – an oversized button down, skinny jeans, and ankle booties are a great start. And don’t forget to bring a cardi for those chilly showing rooms!

The evening is a different story, though. Let your night time look transform you just as if you were walking the red carpet at a major premiere (Okay, maybe not that extreme, but you get the point!). Wear your best LBD and a killer pair of heels and then top it off with a bold red lip and a bejeweled clutch. And remember, it’s all about confidence and class with a heaping helping of personality when you’re strutting your stuff in your evening attire, honey.

Take Notes:

Having a notepad and a pen on you is a must. Keeping track of the films that you saw during your whirlwind of a day is vastly important when it comes to networking and the post film Q & A sessions. Write down your likes and dislikes, questions that you had throughout the screening, and important themes that you picked up on during the movie. All of your thoughts will make excellent conversation starters at the refreshment stand or while hanging around for the next film to start. Not only that, but surely you will want to remember such an exciting day, anyways, and jotting down notes throughout your experience is a great way to keep your memories fresh.

Tearjerker Tissues:

Alright, let’s get one thing straight: Literally no one wants to hear you with the sniffles after ugly crying when the handsome lead bites the dust, Linda. Do us all a favor and bring a travel tissue packet. THANKS!! (This goes for everyone – not just Linda!!)

A Good Attitude:

Are you going to love every film that you see? No. But raving negativity after the film ends is certainly frowned upon in such an esteemed setting. Differing opinions are fine, but voice your love or distaste appropriately. The movie that you hated could be the favorite film of the person sitting beside you. An appreciation for film in general and the time, money, and talent that’s involved in that world goes a long way during your chats in line at the ladies, the refreshment booth, or the post film Q & A. Remember that you’re in a professional environment and showing respect is always going to be a do as you go about your day at the festival.
If you’ve never attended a film festival before, the Anthem Film Festival in Las Vegas is a great place to start! What are your film festival do’s and don’ts? What are a few of your favorite flicks? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Featured Image By: JoeyBLS Photography
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The Ultimate Dinner Party Guide

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The Ultimate Dinner Party Guide

From tableware to menus and seating arrangements, throwing a dinner party is never easy. Not only do you have to create the perfect ambient setting to enjoy a meal, but you also have to plan, prepare, cook, and serve the food! It can sound like more trouble than it’s worth but don’t be put off. Dinner parties are an amazing way to get family and friends together.

If you struggle to find the time to catch up with loved ones individually it can be a great way to get everyone in the room for a wonderful evening. It’s also a good test of your organizational skills and hosting abilities! Above everything else, it’s a lot of fun. As long as you have a plan in place, the evening will be a huge success. This dinner party guide takes you from the menu planning process to the dinner table decors, all the way to puddings and party favors:

The Guest List: The first thing that you need to decide is who you’re inviting. If you’re co-hosting the dinner party with a friend, partner, or family member, sit down together and work out a list. You need to work out what you want out of the dinner party. A big celebration with friends, intimate family meal, or perhaps an open-to-all buffet style event. Whatever the occasion is, this will indicate who you should invite.

Of course, the amount of space you have around the table will also dictate the number of guests. If you’re inviting more than eight people, a sit-down meal might not be the best idea. First of all, who has a table big enough for over eight? Also, you might want to consider a more fluid set up. For large numbers open up the garden and kitchen to guests, too. That way people can mingle without feeling cramped and confined to one room.

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Partayyy

Creating The Menu: If you’re having a sit-down soiree you’ll need to prepare a menu. If you’re having six people or under round for dinner you can probably cook individual courses. If you’re having more than six people or over, sharer style dishes and one-pot recipes are the way to go. If you’re having a huge gathering, then a buffet station set up in the garden or kitchen for food is best. You’ll have to determine whether any of the guests have allergies or intolerances before you come up with a menu. Also come up with some vegetarian and vegan options, too.

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     YUM

     For Smaller Groups:

Get your prep done before guests arrive, this goes for all group sizes. If you’re hosting for a smaller group of people you can afford to have more attention to detail and more ambitious dishes. Prawns are a good starter because they’re easy to prepare in advance. Buy prawns which have been cooked, cleaned, and peeled already. This will save time. There are so many different ways to serve prawns. A fail-safe option is a simple grilled prawn with a pre-prepared sauce. Get some char on your prawns to increase the smokey flavors in the dish. This goes particularly well with a romesco sauce.

For the main course, food preferences permitted, herb crusted lamb is a real show stopper. To make the crust, combine breadcrumbs, parsley, mint, and oil. Smear some mustard over the fatty side of the lamb and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Be sure to brown your lamb before cooking. www.StoneFryingPans.com/the-best-stainless-steel-cookware has some great stainless steel cookware, perfect for searing and deglazing to make a jus for the lamb. Finally, make sure you leave your lamb to rest for at least 10 minutes. This will ensure that the meat is nice and tender and the juices won’t leak onto the plate. Dessert needs to be something that can be prepared in advance and left to chill. Cheesecake is a good idea, because you can make one large one and portion it before serving. It’s also a great ‘blank canvas’ dessert, so you can add your own preferences, too. Lemon, chocolate, hazelnut, berries, and basically any topping ever work well with a cheesecake.

     For Larger Groups:

Cooking for larger groups needn’t be challenging, you’ll just need to tweak the menu accordingly. Choose some large platters or boards and arrange some cured meats and cheeses on them. Serve olives over ice and sourdough bread, too. Balsamic vinegar and oil make a great dip to go alongside this sharing starter, as does tapenade. For the main dish, consider doing a one-pot wonder. A homemade curry or a big paella served straight from the pan works really well for larger groups. You can stick these on and leave them to cook with minimal effort, apart from stirring. Serve curries with homemade flatbreads, onion salad, and a yogurt dip. For dessert opt for an easy crowd pleaser like ice cream or mousse. This can also be made ahead of time and left to chill.

     For Vegetarians:

Buy some spelt pasta from a health food store and use this as the base of your dish. Blend spinach and basil in a blender with some oil, seasoning, and pine nuts. This will create a pesto to use as a sauce over your pasta. Cook some courgettes and asparagus, too. Toss the pesto through the pasta and top with the cooked courgettes and asparagus.

Which Drinks To Serve: Setting up a drinks tray is the best idea. Nobody wants to have to make drinks all night for their guests. Prepare a table in the living room or kitchen with a variety of soft drinks and alcohol for guest to pick and choose. Another good idea is to make one signature drink. Making jugs of cocktails is an especially good idea if it’s a summer party which spills out into the garden.

To make a mojito simply mix lime juice, mint, and sugar in a large jug or bowl. Mash these gently to let the flavors start to seep out and sugar dissolve. Top with rum, soda, and plenty of ice. Put slices of mint and lime to garnish in little bowls next to the jug.

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My kind of party!

Setting The Scene: Whenever you go to a great dinner party, the atmosphere is one of the things that makes it so special. Creating the perfect atmosphere is partly down to planning. If you are having a sit-down meal you’ll need to dress the table. It can be tempting to go overboard with accessories and cram the table but try to avoid this. Guests want to be able to talk, share food, and relax without having to navigate lots of decorative pieces. A few tea light candles with lantern-style covers are a pared back but sophisticated touch. Fresh flowers are also a great centerpiece, but if you have a small table don’t clutter it. Station a drinks table with an ice bucket nearby so that you don’t have to keep rushing backward and forwards.

A seating plan shouldn’t be necessary and can feel a bit too formal. Adding a little gift for each person is a nice touch, too. They don’t have to be expensive, in fact, the more whimsical the better. Masks or joke shop presents are a great idea for a group of friends. Family members may appreciate birthstones or small bags of truffles. These tokens will help to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, plus they’ll lift your guest’s mood!

After Party? Some dinner parties can continue long into the night and become a party as well as dinner. Make it clear to guests on the invite whether you’re open to that. There’s nothing worse than wanting to go to bed but still having a few guests. If you’re having people stay over, set up the guest bedroom early on in the day. By the end of the night, you won’t feel like changing bed linen and arranging flowers!

Nobody wants to clean up after a party, either, but facing all the debris in the morning is probably worse. Compromise and go around with a bin liner and chuck in any bottles or plastic cups. Wash up your plates and cutlery and leave them to dry. Leave larger pans to soak overnight, and head to bed. That way there will be a manageable amount to tackle in the morning.

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Cheers!!

Featured Image By: Pixabay