Archives for February 2017

8 Secrets For Hosting A Stylish & Stress Free Party

This blog has been compensated by Borden® Cheese. All opinions are mine alone. #BordenCheeseLove #CollectiveBias #Ad

Even the best of us can get stressed at the thought of hosting a party, so any tips and inspiration for making the process easier are always welcome! I am so excited to share my top 8 tips for hosting a successful and stress free party.

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When I got engaged in the beginning of December, one of the first things that I wanted to do was celebrate! What better way to celebrate such an exciting time than a small party with my closest girlfriends? Savory bites, colorful greenery, gorgeous blooms, and fun topography are the visual and delicious elements that go into a party, but how do you execute the creative and tasty elements without driving yourself mad with stress? I am sharing 8 Secrets To Hosting A Stylish and Stress Free Party that will make you a relaxed party hosting maven!

Read on for the dos and don’ts of stress free party planning plus a delicious recipe that you don’t want to miss!

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8-secrets-for-hosting-stylish-stress-free-party-the-nosh-life

1. Create A Set Color Palette

Decide on the color palette for your party and stick to it. Choose two main coordinating colors and an accent color to add a pop. Stick with this color palette within the flowers, table settings, and signage!

 

2. Play With Varying Heights

Creating a tablescape that looks like you spent hours on starts with creating planes for the eye to fall on. Arrange your greenery and flowers at various heights to create instant visual interest!

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3. Get Creative With Place Cards

Have fun with the place cards that you use! Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. I picked up a simple letter banner and used the individual letters as initial place cards for each guest. Each lettered panel is bold, so they catch the eye and bring a classy personal touch to each setting!

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8-secrets-for-hosting-stylish-stress-free-party-the-nosh-life

4. Keep The Food Simple & Sophisticated

Cooking for someone is a delicious expression of love. You don’t have to spend hours upon hours in the kitchen to create savories dishes that your guests [friends] will love! I put together a grown up pepper jack mac & cheese [using wholesome Borden® Cheese ] with roasted jalapeños and turkey bacon for this engagement party that was both simple and incredibly sophisticated. Utilize a classic recipe that everyone loves and put your own artisan twist on it! Your guests’ tastebuds will thank you.

Full recipe for Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese with Roasted Jalapeños and Turkey Bacon below!

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5. Do Provide Beverage Options

Always provide two to three beverage options for your guests. Provide one water station and one other alternative like sweet iced black tea, fresh lemonade, sparkling juice, or a naturally flavored tonic water.If you’re having a sweets-only party, give guests the option of coffee or assorted hot chocolate!

 

6. Add Signage Where You Can

It is great to add playful signage where you can. Place labels by the savories and sweets or add welcome signage on the table to make the party feel even more personal. You can find beautiful printable party signage templates to print out that are very affordable!

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8-secrets-for-hosting-stylish-stress-free-party-the-nosh-life

7. Don’t Give Too Many Options

Less is more when it comes to a party menu. Keep the menu simple and wow guests with a delicious main dish, complemented with two lighter sides and two dessert options.

 

8. Build From Basics

Keep a set of basic white plates and simple drinkware on hand to build any tablescape upon. This way you have a cohesive base that you can snazz up with colorful florals, napkins, signage, and fun salad plates.

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A Few DON’TS

– Don’t overthink the party plan. Decide on the color palette, food and beverages, and any special elements, like signage, that you want to use. Keep it simple and have fun!

– Don’t wait till the day of the party to prepare all of the food. Prepare the dishes that can be refrigerated the night before, and set them out 30 minutes before serving to come to room temperature. Anything that needs to be served warm should be warmed in the oven on low heat and pulled out 5 minutes before serving.

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Featured Recipe

Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese with Roasted Jalapeños and Turkey Bacon

Prep Time: 15 min  |  Cook Time: 20 min  |  Serves: 8-10
This grown up mac & cheese recipe combines pepper jack cheese and a three cheese blend for a velvety smooth, smoky sauce that is tossed with al dente penne pasta and topped with roasted jalapeños and crispy turkey bacon.

 

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You can never go wrong with macaroni and cheese, especially when you bring in savory and spicy elements like turkey bacon and jalapeños and pair them with Borden® Cheese Southwest Pepper Jack Singles and Borden® Cheese Triple Cheddar Shreds. I popped over to Walmart and found the Borden® Cheese that I needed to make this life changing Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese with Roasted Jalapeños and Turkey Bacon, but check out this store locator to see where to find Borden® Cheese near you. Every bite is smooth, creamy, gooey, and a little spicy. Your favorite childhood dish just got a grown up facelift that will blow you mind.

I have always believed that cooking for someone is a decadent expression of love. You pour your heart and creativity into creating something that they will enjoy and savor with abandon. This mac & cheese is no exception – it is love, savored in every bite! I’m super picky about the cheese that I like to use when I cook. For this dish I used my favorite Borden® Cheese blends. There are many varying flavors that I really like using in dishes to build full, layered flavor profiles. Life is good when there is cheese involved. Am I right or am I RIGHT!

I combined Borden® Cheese Triple Cheddar Shreds and Borden® Cheese Southwest Pepper Jack Singles to make a silky full flavored cheese sauce that will blow your taste-buds out of the water.

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gluten-free-three-cheese-pepper-jack-mac-and-cheese-the-nosh-life

Ingredients:

8 oz turkey bacon – roughly chopped
16 oz box gluten free penne pasta
2 medium jalapeño peppers – sliced

For the cheese sauce:
3 tbsp. gluten free flour
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
8oz bag Borden® Cheese Triple Cheddar Shreds
6 slices Borden® Cheese Southwest Pepper Jack Singles
2 c. milk [ whole or skim will work ]
1/2 c. chicken stock
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. white pepper

Spices & Oils to fold in:
1 1/2 tsp. dried cilantro
pinch red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil

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gluten-free-three-cheese-pepper-jack-mac-and-cheese-the-nosh-life
gluten-free-three-cheese-pepper-jack-mac-and-cheese-the-nosh-life

Instructions.

Roughly chop turkey bacon and slice jalapeño peppers. Remove some seeds to make the jalapeño flavor more mild.

Step 1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add in chopped turkey bacon and fry until golden and crispy. Remove bacon from skillet and set aside on a paper towel to drain. Reserve 2 tbsp. to fold into mac & cheese.

Step 2. In the same skillet, add in jalapeño slices and gentle roast them in the bacon drippings – about 2-3 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Step 3. Cook gluten free pasta according to package instructions – reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain and set aside.

Step 4. In a large dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add the gluten free flour to melted butter. Cook for about 3 minutes to create a roux -whisking continuously. While continuing to whisk, add in 2 cups of milk and reduce heat to low-medium. Bring roux/milk mixture to a gentle boil, whisking continually. Sauce will slightly thicken.

Add in Borden® Cheese Triple Cheddar Shreds and Borden® Cheese Southwest Pepper Jack Singles, whisking until the cheese is completely melted in. Whisk in chicken stock, cayenne pepper, and white pepper. Whisk until well combined and the cheese sauce is smooth.

Remove from the heat.

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gluten-free-three-cheese-pepper-jack-mac-and-cheese-the-nosh-life

Step 5. Gently mix the cooked gluten free pasta into the cheese sauce [ use reserved cooking liquid as needed to loosen up the sauce if necessary]. Fold in olive oil, dried cilantro, pinch of red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper to taste.

Serve topped with crispy turkey bacon and roasted jalapeño slices!

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gluten-free-three-cheese-pepper-jack-mac-and-cheese-the-nosh-life

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gluten-free-three-cheese-pepper-jack-mac-and-cheese-the-nosh-life

This pepper jack mac & cheese is so delicious. And it only takes 30 minutes to put together! The salty, crispy bacon brings so much savory flavor to this dish, and the jalapeños add the perfect kick to this mac & cheese!

Have you tried pepper jack mac & cheese? What is your favorite way to use Borden® Cheese? Do you love a spicy kick to an old classic?

With love [ and happy eating! ],

If you loved this recipe pin it, tweet it, and facebook it!

 

On Being Vulnerable: 3 Ways To Face Vulnerability With Courage

Vulnerability if often the first thing that we look for in others, but the last thing that we want others to see in us. How beautiful it is to release those chains of fear that hold us back from showing others who we really are – the good, the bad, weakness, and strength. Today I am getting more personal with this post – plus I am sharing a few encouragements to help you face/embrace vulnerability with courage.
Read on for 3 encouragements to help you embrace being vulnerable.
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The Truth About Vulnerability

Vulnerability is something that we often do not want to show, but we need to. We need vulnerability from others, and we need to be vulnerable with others. Vulnerability is a very important link in the chain of relationships. Without it, do we truly know one another? To be vulnerable is to trust and entrust the hidden parts of our being to another for safe keeping – be it a friend or significant other.
The truth is that I was terrified of being vulnerable, of being seen, for such a long time. Opening yourself up completely gives others the power to hurt you, and that, well, that at times seemed unbearable. The funny thing though is that I love being a confidant to others. I want to know their heart and their hurt.. I want vulnerability from others but struggle at times to open up in the same way. I have learned though that vulnerability frees you to experience the deepest love and greatest joy.
The reality is that we are all vulnerable, no matter how hard we try to hide it away. The truth is this: vulnerability does open us up to hurt, to disappointment, to heartbreak – but without vulnerability we cannot experience some of the greatest joys, and the most vibrant parts of life. Vulnerability faces fear with defiance, accepting the possibility of attack, and believing in the potential of shelter in another.
Understanding what vulnerability really means for us is the first step in breaking free from the fear of it. Remember that vulnerability is courage with tenderness.
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3-Ways-To-Face-Vulnerability-With-Courage-the-nosh-life

Let Go Of Control

Acknowledging our imperfections, and accepting them helps us let go of the need to control how others  view us. Part of not wanting to be vulnerable is not wanting to be seen for who we really are. Letting go of that control frees us to embrace being vulnerable with those close to us in life.
We all get hurt. Period. End of story. But you know what? We make it through the pain, and we grow stronger. Hurt doesn’t end us. Do not let the fear of potential momentary pain hinder you from experiencing the deep love and friendship that vulnerability builds.
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3-Ways-To-Face-Vulnerability-With-Courage-the-nosh-life
3-Ways-To-Face-Vulnerability-With-Courage-the-nosh-life

One Small Step In The right Direction

Being vulnerable doesn’t happen overnight. And we certainly do not have to bare the entirety of our soul in one sitting. Being vulnerable starts out in the simplest form; acknowledging someone else’s pain and sympathizing with them is a beautiful example of allowing yourself to be vulnerable without baring it all:
” I had a similar experience. It was a really difficult time for me, but I worked through it overtime. It’s hard right now, I know. I’m here if you want to vent and share your heart. “
 
Just like that, you are vulnerable. You show your heart, without baring it all, and in the process you give your friend or loved one the freedom to be completely open and vulnerable themselves. One small step in the right direction is better than a massive jump.
Take your time opening up.. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Just take one small step.
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3-Ways-To-Face-Vulnerability-With-Courage-the-nosh-life
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3-Ways-To-Face-Vulnerability-With-Courage-the-nosh-life

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Dress // c/o Tobi [ exact ]
Jacket // BB Dakota [exact ]
Wedges // DSW [ similar ]
Bag // local boutique find
How do you break free from the fear of vulnerability? What scares you the most about being vulnerable with another? Let’s chat, friends!
 
With love,

Navy Shift Dress x Neutral Details

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how-to-style-a-shift-dress-the-nosh-life
Hello hello my sweet friends! I hope your Valentine’s Day was simply magical. Austin and I stuck to our ‘married couple’ ways and sat on the couch eating salads from Moe’s to celebrate our love. Ha! He did surprise me with a sweet bouquet of flowers and my favorite dark chocolate covered nuts – So he won major brownie points for that 😉
I feel like I am on a role with these style posts. I adore sharing many things here on TNL; artisan recipes, self care advice, faith – but style posts have to be the most fun! I have never been one to follow trends [ though I do enjoy a few of them ]. I would much rather dress just the way that suits me, on trend or not. That’s how we all should approach style!
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how-to-style-a-shift-dress-the-nosh-life
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how-to-style-a-shift-dress-the-nosh-life
I absolutely love dressing up for date nights with Austin, and this navy shift dress from Tobi is the perfect piece to dress up or down for an easy breezy date night look. The large cutouts are perfect for showing off a fun cami or taking a more chic subtle route – I took that route and stuck to a simple black cami. This dress also comes in the most gorgeous camel color that I will eventually cave in and buy! You can totally have the same dress in different colors 😉 I will link this dress below!
This is completely off topic, but who else runs on coffee? If Red Bull gives you wings, a properly brewed shot of espresso will turn you into a majestic pegasus. There may come a day when I do not indulge in a full-caf dairy free mochaccino.. but it is not this day! I would love to know what your signature brew is – share it with me in the comments so I can give it a try.
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how-to-style-a-shift-dress-the-nosh-life
how-to-style-a-shift-dress-the-nosh-life
how-to-style-a-shift-dress-the-nosh-life

Outfit Details:

Dress // c/o Tobi [ exact ]
Tights // Banana Republic [ similar ]
Bag // c/o Shabby Apple
Heels // Guess [ similar ]
 
What is your go-to date night style? Do you and your significant other fall into a lazy routine? What is your favorite way to spend time with the one you love? What is your signature brew/latte? Let’s chat, friends!
 
With love,

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Oversized Sweater Dress & Cutout Booties x Anniversary Date

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how-to-style-oversized-sweater-dress-tobi
Happy Monday everyone!! I am so excited and it is for perhaps the cheesiest reason possible. Austin and I celebrated our 1 year courtship anniversary yesterday! Aren’t anniversaries for married people? No matter – we celebrated with brick oven pizza plus milkshakes downtown, and a painfully boring movie to cap things off. If that’s not married couple behavior, I don’t know what is.Speaking of getting married.. I have officially started walking down the wedding planning path! I have an actual wedding planner and everything [ Hi Kirsten! ]. I am only two meetings into the process and I have already learned some things about myself. Mainly, I am not meant to plan things. Ha! I know that this process is supposed to be fun, but, I am over here stressing out. It’s what I do best, friends. 

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how-to-style-oversized-sweater-dress-tobi
how-to-style-oversized-sweater-dress-tobi
how-to-style-oversized-sweater-dress-tobi



I popped on this ultra comfy oversized sweater dress from Tobi for our afternoon anniversary date! You can never go wrong with a sweater dress – Even in 70 degree weather.. with tights. I was committed to looking cold, y’all! Haha. I got this dress from Tobi about two weeks ago and I adore it! It’s so comfy and soft. I am linking two other colors below! A good sweater dress is a wardrobe staple that can be dressed up or down, and if lightweight enough, can be worn year round.

Side note: After three years of friendship, one year of courting, and now engagement, I’ve learned that Austin can be bribed with a milkshake to do anything photoshoot/blog related – as seen in the ‘milkshake euphoria’ picture above 😉

He’s such a good sport!

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how-to-style-oversized-sweater-dress-tobi
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how-to-style-oversized-sweater-dress-tobi

 

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Sweater Dress // c/o Tobi [ exact ] [ exact in mustard & cream ]
Cutout Booties // Arturo Chang [ exact ]
Tights // Loft [ similar ]
Bag // Steve Madden [ similar ]
What is the cheesiest thing you have ever celebrated? How do you like to style a sweater dress? Let’s chat, friends!
 
With love,

4 Ways To Improve Work-Life Balance As A Home Based Entrepreneur

Working from home can be a tremendous blessing. It can also be a little bit of a curse. Living in and working from the same space leaves no room for dropping work stress at the door. As an entrepreneur/blogger I know the challenges of working from home all too well. Maintaining work-life balance as a home based professional is essential in being productive and finding joy in your work.

Read on for 4 tips to help you find work-life balance as a home based entrepreneur / professional!

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4-ways-to-improve-work-life-balance-as-a-home-based-entrepreneur-the-nosh-life

4 Ways To Improve Work-Life Balance As A Home Based Entrepreneur

Create A Designated Work Space

Commit to only doing work in a defined workspace, like an office or other sectioned off area within your house. Designating a ‘work only’ space will help you create a more productive work environment!If you have an office space in your house that is in a separate room, shut the door at the end of the day. Separation is key.

Create A Work Free ‘Safe Zone’

Just as you need a designated space to work in, you also need a designated space to relax in. Creating a space that makes you feel peaceful and revived is simple and wildly beneficial to your overall productivity. I like to call this space a ‘safe zone’. This is a space free of work – no phone calls, no emails, no brainstorming blog post or photoshoot ideas. Don’t even think about checking Instagram! 😉
Build a space that makes you feel cozy and peaceful, filling it with artwork, greenery, and accessories that exemplify who you are. One of the best ways to relieve stress is to bask in a little sunshine. So create your cozy work free safe zone near a window, allowing all of that feel good sunlight to pour into the space!
Grab your favorite book and allow yourself to unplug.
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4-ways-to-improve-work-life-balance-as-a-home-based-entrepreneur-the-nosh-life
One of my favorite pieces in my work free space is a hand-painted watercolor feather by Andrea Lace. Her work is breathtaking – breathing life into any area that it graces. It is is amazing how one piece, be it a painting, trinket or otherwise, can have such an impact on the way that we feel. Glancing over at that metallic gold dusted painting always makes me smile.Shop Andrea’s gorgeous collection at Lace Studios, and connect with her on Instagram & Facebook!
Andrea does custom work as well. She can create a piece tailored to your space!

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4-ways-to-improve-work-life-balance-as-a-home-based-entrepreneur-the-nosh-life

Set Boundaries For Yourself

Although being connected and communicative with your readership/clients is important, it is equally as important to shut off when your workday ends. This is difficult to do when you work from home, but it is SO important. Designate a block of time in your workday to answer emails, make phone calls, reach out to potential partners/tie up any loose ends with clients, and create content. When the allotted time for each task is up, step away and move on to the next task. When the workday ends – you’re done! Cut yourself off right there.If you can manage your time wisely from the start you will not end up needing to work overtime. Make a schedule, stick to it, and STOP working when the workday is over. Create clear boundaries for yourself and leave all work tasks in your office!

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4-ways-to-improve-work-life-balance-as-a-home-based-entrepreneur-the-nosh-life

Take Breaks

A huge obstacle to work-life balance as a home based entrepreneur / professional is feeling trapped is your own home. You can easily find yourself cooped up at home for a few days at a time.

Get up every hour or so to stretch your legs and take a few minutes for yourself. Grab a proper lunch or brew a refreshing cup of your favorite tea. Do something that relaxes your mind for a few minutes, or makes you laugh.

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How do you find work-life balance as a home based entrepreneur? Do you struggle work-life balance? Do you have a designated workspace? Where is your work free ‘safe zone’? Let’s chat in the comments!


With love,










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