What I Wore, Fall is in the Air

I think fall is officially here and I am loving it: boots, cardigans, leg warmers and scarves! YAY! 

Just in case you missed it you can see my post about how I lost 105 pounds with before and after photos {HERE}

Tank top: J Crew
Cardigan: Modern Vintage Boutique
Jeans: J Brand
Boots: J Crew
Locket: Tiffany


pleated poppy
Momma Go Round


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My Heart is Full

Ginger Grace is 9 months and crawling!!!! 


And Little Milton turned 2 on Sunday. Happy Birthday Beautiful Boy!!

A friend posted this on facebook and I loved it so much I cried.

 I love my children so much I ache with joy!  They have made me the woman I have always wanted to be. 
I wish every mother and father in the world were able to give as much love as my family is. Thank you God for providing me the patience, time, energy, money and education to be able to love these children like I do.

Today may be a struggle but every single ounce of everyday is worth it for the little ones.




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Easy Pumpkin Chai Bread

I just about died and went to heaven when I heard the combo pumpkin, chai and bread. I also just about died and went to heaven when I ate this. It's amazing! This bread should be on everyone's holiday table! SERIOUSLY! This is an outstanding recipe! Please try it and one of the easiest EVER! This is a great recipe for beginning bakers!!!! MAKE IT!!!!
 Recipe adapted from the recipe I found {HERE}

Ingredients:

2 Eggs
1 and 3/4 Cups Flour
1 and 1/2 Cups Sugar
2/3 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Cup Butter, melted
1/2 Cup Chai Tea Concentrate (you can buy this at either Starbucks or Whole Foods)
1/4 Cup Buttermilk
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Cloves
1/8 Teaspoon Ginger
3 tablespoons suagr in the raw
Recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Heavily spray either one loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl mix together , flour, baking soda, cinnamon, clove, ginger and salt.
In another medium bowl beat 2 eggs and add buttermilk, chai tea concentrate, pumpkin puree, sugar, and melted butter. You may beat this or simply mix well with a wisk.
Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Place batter in loaf pan and sprinkle the tiop with suagr int he raw. I do this to all my sweet breads and it makes this delightful little sparkly crust. It's lovely. Try it!
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 5 minuets if making ONE large loaf. If making smaller loafs as I did in my photos then bake at 350 degrees for 45 minuets. ALways insert a toothpick pr butter knife ans ensure it comes out clean before removing from oven.
ENJOY!



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My Weight Loss Journey and How I lost 100 pounds




I HAVE DONE IT!!!!!



I REACHED MY GOAL WEIGHT AND IT FEELS GREAT!!!!!


YES!!!!!!!!!




 I have lost 60 pounds since the birth of Ginger, my second child but I have lost a whopping 115 pounds since the birth of my first child Milton. 
I have lost 13 inches of my hips and 9 off my waist.  

I went from a size 22 to a size 4/6 !!!! 

It took me 9 months to loose the 60 pounds from Ginger and in the 5 months I wasn't pregnant between babies I had somehow managed to lose the other 40 and kept it off through the second pregnancy.


I have always struggled with my weight so I have been experimenting with different eating patterns for a long time and I know what works for me so I stick to it. I also know that exercise is a very important part of being healthy and losing weight but for me exercise plays about a 20-30% role in my weight loss success. The other 70 -80% is diet. So for me, if I want to be thin I need to cut out sugar, including most carbs.


I am going to show you some before and after photos because it's pretty amazing!!!!! I think it's inspiring and I know that when I was 200+ pounds I needed inspiration desperately. I'm really excited about this post because I hope I can help someone who is currently struggling with their weight.


Before and After


 






THIS IS HOW I LOST 100 + POUNDS 

1.SET A REALISTIC GOAL:  This is really important. You want to set a concrete goal. It can either be a number or a size but DO NOT set an unrealistic goal. I set a goal that I knew I would be able to attain. Now that I have reached this goal I am planning on  loosing another 10 pounds at my leisure and that's fine with me. I feel great because I reached the goal I made that was attainable. If you make an unrealistic goal for yourself you will only feel discouraged and possibly give up if you can't reach it fast enough. BABY STEPS PEOPLE!!!
 
2. THE MEAL PLAN: Most of the time I stuck to a high protein, low carb diet. Nothing crazy. No, not like Atkins. I ate plenty of natural sugars like fruit but I stayed away from bread, rice, potato and refined sugar MOST OF THE TIME. So what did I eat? A lot of meat (mostly chicken breasts), Eggs (hard boiled are a great easy snack), vegetables, fruit (all kinds), cottage cheese, yogurt, and nuts.  I ate a lot of healthy fats like avocado and nuts and a lot things high in fiber. I found that protein filled me up quickly with small portions and that carbs would not only not fill me up as fast but it would always leaving me craving more food. I think that is why this diet is easier for me to stick to because honestly I wasn't starving all the time. I actually felt full and content. So maybe this isn't the diet for you but decide on one and stick to it.

3. BE PREPARED: I'm sure you've heard this a million times before but you must have food that is friendly to you on hand at all times. I ALWAYS, always keep a bag of raw almonds in my purse just in case I Get starving while we're out. They are high in fat but also VERY high in fiber and fill you up fast. Also at home you should have cut up fruit, veggies or whatever else your snacking on. Whenever I was having a wicked sweets craving I would run to the fruit. A bowl of strawberries with a little cool whip or some cold fresh watermelon!!!
 
4.EVERYBODY NEEDS A BREAK: About 2 or 3 times a week I would eat a cupcake or two or a few bites of pasta or whatever I really wanted. I have found over the years that if I don't indulge frequently then sooner rather than later I will binge eat badly and have a very hard time ever recovering. Also, once I ate my cupcake for the day I would just say "no big deal and get right back on my plan" No whining and moping and eating more because "you already ruined your diet." You know exactly what I'm talking about and it's just plain stupid! Just don't do it!!!! Binge eating has got to be one of the worst punishments we could ever do to ouselves; not good for the body or the mind.

5. BE CONSISTENT: Which brings me to CONSISTENCY. If you stay consistent with ANY diet plan you will be successful. So even if you fall off the wagon every week, it's ok as long as you get right back on. This was a really big deal for me and I was finally able to successfully do it. Stop punishing yourself. It's ok, just get right back on that horse and try again the next day. I promise with persistence YOU WILL PREVAIL even when it really doesn't feel like it. Also, don't get discouraged if you hit a Plateau. It is normal and natural and is so discouraging!!!! Stick with your plan. You will prevail!!! Sometimes I wouldn't loose a pound for 3 weeks and be SO discouraged but I promise, just stick with it. Whatever you do, don't give up.

6. TIMING IS EVERY THING: I for the most part did not eat past 5Pm. Now keep in mind I go to bed at 9PM so you could adjust that to fit your lifestyle but nighttime eating is a HUGE reason for unnecessary weight gain. In fact I know several people who did nothing else except stop eating at night and they lost weight. And it's so much healthier for you. As soon as I started to feel really hungry or just like I really wanted something, I just went to bed. Also, if I knew I was going to eat something really fatty or high in carbs I would try to do as early in the day as possible so I had all day to burn it off before bed. Yes, I have been known to eat a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast and that's OKAY!!!
 
7.EXERCISE: Of course exercise is going to play a big role in any healthy weight loss plan. Well, I have 2 small babies that are 14 months apart and when I started this weight loss routine my youngest was 3 weeks old. I had no childcare and still don't so my only option for exercise was walking, which turned out to be GREAT.  So no excuses about how you can't afford the gym and have no childcare. If you really want to make it happen , you will!!!
I walked as much as I could on as many days a week as I could weather permitting. This meant usually 1-4 miles 2-6 days a week. It varied a lot, especially once I went back to work but not only did it give me quiet time from the kids but it gave me so much energy. I felt great. I still walk to the grocery store with the kids almost everyday.

8. READING MATERIAL: I have tried lots of diets and read lots of books on the subject and I have now found one book that I highly recommend and it may surprise you. It is {NATURALLY THIN} by Bethany Frankel. Yes, she used to be one of the Housewives of the show "The Real New York City Housewives" so some might discredit her but she is a natural foods chef and has cooked for MANY celebrities and knows A LOT about what to do to stay thin. The reason I love the book is because there is no calorie counting, no measuring, no ridiculous, vigorous routines. It is real, straight talk about  how to loose weight. SERIOUSLY! No nonsense. No false promises. I have read it twice in 6 months just to keep myself fresh and motivated. I highly recommend it.

9. MOTIVATION: Everybody has different ways of keeping themselves motivated but for me there are 3 things. Keep photos of myself around when I am at the weight I am trying to get to (My skinny photo) and buy yourself a couple really nice pieces of clothing in the REALISTIC size you know you can get to and keep looking at them a couple times a week. I know this could get expensive if you never make it to your goal but it's all the more reason to really make it happen. For me it works like a charm, EVERY SINGLE TIME. 
 
10. BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE:  I have never done weight watchers but I hear that one of the reasons it works so well is the support group you form with your other peers. Once again I have 2 small babies and no childcare so I couldn't so weight watchers meetings BUT honestly facebook worked GREAT for me. I started out on day one posting in my status bar how many pounds I had lost and how many I had to go. "25 pounds down, 25 to go" I would receive so many wonderful encouraging comment's and likes. It was REALLY, REALLY motivating for me and after a while it held me accountable to them. I got a note the other day from a friend on facebook that told me how neat it was to have watched my story since day 1. I highly recommend you try it:) It feels good to get praise when your proud of yourself.
Or you could simply pair up with a girlfriend who wants to loose pounds too and check in with her.

11. TAKE YOUR MEASURMENTS AND WEIGHT YOURSELF REGULARLY:  It really helped to take my measurements in the beginning and every few weeks. It is just an extra motivator. Sometimes I wouldn't loose any weight for a couple weeks but I would take my measurements and find I had lost an inch. GREAT motivation when your feeling down or tempted to throw in the towel.I weighed myself everyday. Some people think that's obsessive but it really helped keep me on track and kind of let me know where I was at. If I had gained I would be more strict that day. If I had lost then I knew I had a little wiggle room for a cookie or something. 




This was my basic "how to " guide but if you would like to get a deeper look inside why I gained all this weight to begin with and how I was able to successfully overcome it. You can read my more intimate post {HERE}


consictency. consictency. consictency.


Update #2
In December on 2011 I started running.....I have always have a life long goal to run a marathon. On March 2nd 2012 I ran my first half marathon in under 2 hours. I have now lost 116 pounds and 5 more inches of my midsection.



Can't get enough??? 

Read Another weight loss post from me with more details on what it feels like to be obese {HERE}

Well, that's about it folks. Please, please feel free to send me an email "www.bouffeebambini@hotmail.com" (please include www.)  if you have any questions at all or just want to chat about weight and weight loss. Also if any of you are interested in sharing my story please just email me, I am happy to oblige. This has been a huge accomplishment for me and I would love to be as helpful as I can!!!! Thank you all for following me along and supporting me on my journey.
 
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Halloween Mummy Oreo Pops


I can't remember now exactly where I got the original idea for these. Somewhere around the web I saw something sweet that was made into a mummy and so I thought I'd try it with cookie pops and not only are they so cute but really easy. Seriously, no cooking at all. It's just assembly. So cute! Happy Halloween!! 


What you will need:
2 bags of white chocolate chips
15 Oreo cookies
30 edible eye balls or you could substitute plastic ones and just ensure guests know to remove before eating. I found my edible ones at Hobby Lobby
1 package of lollipop sticks (also found at hobby lobby)
twine or ribbon for decoration

Method:
1. carefully twist the oreos apart ensuring not to break them
2. in the microwave heat up about 1/4 cup of the white chocolate chips until melted. Do this in 20-30 second intervals ensuring no to burn it.
3. Dip your lollipop stick in the white chocolate and then carefully pres into the white Oreo filling and top with remaining Oreo half. Set on a cookie sheet. Repeat until all the oreos have been fitted with sticks. Now place them in the freezer to set. 
4. Now heat up one entire bag of the white chocolate chips in a bowl that with easy for dipping. Again, do this in the microwave in 30 second intervals stirring in between. I have found white chocolate is a little more temperamental in the microwave and burns easily. So as soon as it's smooth, it's ready. 
5. Now remove your oreos on sticks from the freezer and dip the back portion in the white chocolate. Now get a skewer or small spoon and smooth the white chocolate over the bottom half of the front of the oreo ONLY. You want to leave the back round where the eyes will go dark like the original color of the Oreo. This makes them look more "spooky" :)
6. Now place a little dot of white chocolate on the back of each eye ball and place on the dark part of the Oreo that has not been dipped in white chocolate. Now place them in the freezer again to set. 
7. Once set place remaining white chocolate in the microwave to melt. Now get a zip lock baggie and pour the melted chocolate into the bag. Cut a teeny tiny hole in the corner with scissors and begin making your mummy layers. I chose to split my chocolate into 2 bags and I cut one hole teeny tiny and one hole a tint bit bigger so I would get more of a layered effect. If you decide to it this way then pipe the bigger mummy wrapping first, chill, and then do the tiny mummy wrapping last. 
VOILA!!!! You have a gorgeous Halloween treat and you didn't even have to cook anything!!! 


Photobucket




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Emersonmade is giving away $100 (NOW CLOSED)

If you haven't had the pleasure to meet {Emersonmade} today is your lucky day because not only I am going to introduce you to a little store that you are going to fall in love with but your also getting the chance to win a $100 Gift Card from them. YES $100!!!!

For months now I have been S*M*I*T*T*E*N with {Emersonmade}.  I love their clothes. I love their story. I love their farm house. There's not much I don't love about {Emersonmade}

The owner's are a husband and wife duo that do everything from the photography, to the design, to the modeling. They recently moved from New York City to a small seaside town in New Hampshire where they bought a farm. For inspiration, they travel the world and share it with us. I am so grateful to have found them. I truly appreciate beautiful, well made clothing made right here in the USA. Every piece I have ordered I love. I am honored to feature them on my blog today.


Meet the Owners
 Ryan and Emerson, husband and wife, business partners, gorgeous couple


Take a peek inside their Farm House
photo credit {here}

Check out some of the fall Emersonmade clothing line. Your getting the chance to win $100 Gift Card.

My Review
Honestly I have not been more smitten with a fashion line in years. I fell in love with everything Emersonmade sometime last year and since then have managed to acquire nearly half their fashion line. I love every single piece. Everything is made with great attention to detail and the utmost care, the packaging is gorgeous and the fabrics are stunning in person. 
One of my favorite pieces I have purchased is their {Mod Little Black Dress}. It's one of the most flattering pieces of clothing I own and can be worn as a dress or tunic. It is a piece that will have as a staple in my closet for years to come. 
The gorgeous {denim trousers}I am wearing are also Emrsonmade and I ADORE them. They fit like a dream and dress up or down in a flash. L*O*V*E


Wear it with heels. Wear it with boots. Wear it with a pair of EM {Lowrise Vintage Blue Bells} or EM {skinny's}. Gorgeous no matter how you wear it. 



Enter for your chance to win $100 Gift Card to {Emersonmade}

Mandatory Entry
* Emerson and Ryan would love it if you would simply become a fan of their facebook page {HERE}

For addition entries you may:
* Follow Emersonmade on twitter {HERE}
* You may tweet about this giveaway or post this giveaway on facebook for an additional entry each.
* become a follower of my blog
* become a fan of bouffe e bambini on facebook {HERE}


This giveaway will close in 2 weeks on Monday November 7th @ midnight. Good Luck and a HUGE thank you to Ryan, Emerson and their whole team. We think your amazing!!! 





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Shutterfly Holiday Cards.....and a Special Little Treat NOW CLOSED

It's that time of year again folks. Time to start thinking about {Christmas Cards}!!!!! Ever since we had the kids we have been doing a photo holiday card. 
We have always used {Shutterfly} and gotten ADORABLE cards. Last year we used this photo of Milton at the Pumpkin Patch. They were a huge hit among family and friends and personally I was very impressed with the quality of the cards. They came out gorgeous. Look how cute little Milton was last year.




So this year I plan on using Shutterfly again and choosing one of their {Holiday photo cards}. I think I'll use one of the photos from our most recent pumpkin patch outing. 
We got so many great pictures this year that I am considering getting one of shutterfly's {Photo Books} also. We have a photo book from our wedding that we love. It's so much nicer than any album I could have put together myself and make great coffee table books at the holidays.




Anyway, just a little reminder folks that Christmas is right around the corner and it's time to start ordering your cards. Take a browse around Shutterfly's {Christmas Cards}. Thae are so cute and have SO MANY styles to choose from. These are a couple of my favorites.


I also have have some excellent news for you. T*H*R*E*E* of you are getting the chance to WIN 25 FREE holiday cards for yourself. 

To Enter the Giveaway:
 simply be a follower of my blog,  pay {shutterfly}a visit, and then leave me comment letting me know that you want to win and leave me your email so I can contact you if you win. Thant's it!!! Hurray for free Christmas Cards!!! I'll choose 3 winners in a week. (Saturday 10/29)

A big thank you to {Shutterfly} and Happy Holidays!!
 
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