Thursday, January 26, 2012

Two of Those Outfits: Mellow Yellow

Week two of classes are complete and so far, so good.  My schedule is quite lax this semester which is quite pleasant after a rather hectic fall last year.  I'm enjoying the calm :)
I'm actually moving backwards with my outfits this week as this first number was worn on Wednesday.  The sweater dress was a Christmas gift from my mom which I actually picked out while we were killing time around Thanksgiving before a lunch date with childhood friends.  I can't recall the name of the store it came from but it was one of those shops FULL of different vendors.  I'm quite taken with it.
I finished this one off with an old cardi, gifted tights and boots from the mister and a necklace I made from an old snake and stone screwback earring.  One of these days I'll get a close up of it as it's pretty killer!  
 To be honest, so far after teaching each day this semester, I've come home and have crashed for a bit.  My day ends early enough that I'm able to squeeze in some mini-naps that don't disrupt my night sleeping which I LOVE.  Once the mister gets home, I roust myself up and have him snap a few shots and I begin my late afternoon/early evening routines.  I have always been a napper due to lifelong thyroid battles but the older I get, the less I'm able to find time to steal time away for them.  With a more mellow schedule right now, I'm taking full advantage and napping when I can.  
 A few weeks back, I hit the motherload on awesome vintage tops, this shirt included.  Each was only $1 and I loaded up.  I even scored an early 60s Vera shirt that is to die for.  While the pattern is certainly floral, I refer to this shirt as my chicken shirt.  It looks chicken-y or yolk-y to me for some reason :)  I threw on a black sweater from Gap clearance that I'm beyond glad I didn't put back on the rack, some Gap clearance slacks that are the smallest pair of pants I've bought in a long time, booties from the mister and a necklace made and gifted to my by a friend.  

So here's to riding this smooth, calm train for as long as I can!  Cheers!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Spaghetti, Revamped

If I had to choose one thing to eat for the rest of my life, it would be spaghetti.  I LOVE spaghetti.  In fact, I've made it a point to eat it in every single country I've ever visited.  For the record, Mexico and the Czech Republic have had my faves thus far.  Since I'm such a nut over this food, I'm always looking for different ways to serve it up and I think I may have just found my newest obsession:  Spaghetti with Arugula and Capers.  Delish!
 So easy and so very fast.  Here ya go.

1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped arugula
1-2 teaspoons of capers (depending on your liking for them)
1-2 teaspoons of garlic (I go for the latter)
Halved cherry tomatoes (the original recipe called for plum tomatoes but I just used what I had on hand)
Red pepper flakes  (I was out but used two packages of the ones that come with Mazzios' pizza!)
Kalamata Olives (I omitted this ingredient - olives aren't my thang)
Salt & Pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix all of those goodies together and let it sit in the fridge for a half hour or so.  Meanwhile, cook up some spaghetti and get your chompers ready!  After the sauce has set for a bit, pile it all together, top with some fresh parmesan and chow down!  

If you'd like the mixture warmed, just nuke it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so.  I had our leftovers for lunch today reheated and it was sooooooooo good.  It's a very fresh combination, healthy and super easy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fuzzy Friday: Vera

 When I first moved back to Tulsa, I lived in a tiny little basement apartment off of Cherry Street all by my lonesome.  I initially loved it because it was tornado safe (I'm a pansy) and cheap.  Shortly after moving in though, our family went through many losses in a very short amount of time and that safe little apartment underground became a very depressing, dark and lonely place to live.  
 Three of the four losses were our family cats that we'd had for nearly twenty years.  They passed within two weeks of each other followed by my Grandpa right before Christmas.  It was devastating.  We were all broken by the events.

In an effort to try and heal myself, I decided to adopt my first cat ever.  My coworker pointed me in the direction of StreetCats (where I have now been volunteering with for a decade) and I made the trek to survey the kitties.  There were several wonderfully beautiful cats but none of them were 'it' for me.  I was about to throw in the towel when I sat my bum down in in the middle of the floor and this two-year old, fluffy, grey thing that I'd barely looked at (mainly because she had made herself inaccessible) jumped down from a high shelf and immediately made herself at home in my lap.  My two criterion for my first 'solo' cat?  That it be a lap cat and to be a social cat.  She chose me.  I took 'Elizabeth' home that night.

 She soon became 'Vera' and my shadow.  She was the best therapy I could have ever hoped for.
Anyone who has ever met her can tell you that she's not your typical cat.  This cat LIVES to be in your arms.  You'd be amazed how much of my day is spent carrying her around while taking care of odds and ends around the house.  She even stands up on her hind legs begging to be picked up and will gladly stay in your arms for hours.  She could very well be the most vocal cat I've ever encountered as well.  
  She had a home before ours but when her previous owners moved, they taped her up inside of a box and left her on their vet's doorstep.  If only they'd known was a gem they'd discarded.  What a gift they'd given me.  What a star she'd become.  
Now technically a senior kitty, she acts more like a kitten then she ever has.  She's recently begun dragging our clean laundry throughout the house in the middle of the night.  This morning it was a towel surely weighing just as much as she.  Annoying?  Yes.  But I will never be upset that our cats are still playful.

Should you ever find yourself at our house, it's likely she'll be the first to greet you at the door.  And she won't leave your side until you've left.  That's what I love about her, she's loyal, loving and trusting.  To no end.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

One of Those Outfits: A Gifted First Day

The spring semester began yesterday as well as my dressing for public consumption.  This go-around I'm only teaching two classes on two days which is quite nice, actually.  I'll be focusing on Reading and Speaking  which are two of my favorite subjects to teach.  My students are just as diverse as ever and seem to be wonderfully motivated so it's safe to say that I'm a happy camper.  I thought I'd try my hand at another semester of outfits to share with you yet I'm hesitant to commit fully.  So perhaps you'll get a few outfits a week, or perhaps you won't.  ;)
 Just like everyone else, I LOVE Anthropologie but just can't shell out the big bucks for their goods.  Once a year for Christmas though, my mom always gets my sister and I gift certificates to the clothing mecca and I try my best to spend my gifted money wisely meaning I stick to the clearance racks and try to purchase items that are multi-functional and timeless.  One of the items I picked up this past Christmas was this Alpaca knit sweater dress.  Talk about comfortable.  To me a good outfit is anyone that I can nap in.  And nap in this outfit I did, hence the ruffled hairs :)
 My sister recently finished a Central/South American tour with Tears for Fears and brought us all back some fun souvenirs for the holidays.  I must say that I think I scored best out of the lot though.  I was gifted this handmade belt, and another in varying colors, from Peru and I'm enamored with them.  
 Since the dress is obviously a little see-through, I threw on a slip dress I've had forever and was quite pleased with the way it peeked out from below.  I finished everything off with shoes and tights gifted by the mister and the one Verde Squared necklace I kept for myself.   
So basically everything except my slip dress and necklace were, in essence, gifted to me over the holidays.  My clothing accumulation of late has grown quite rapidly due to the holidays, changing of seasons and my insatiable need to hunt through estate sales and the flea market.  With our tiny home, I believe it's time I did a large purge of garb to make room for the new acquisitions.  But that's hard.  And takes time.  Oh the perils of being an organized, bargain shopping hoarder.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

One of Those Outfits: An Unfit Cocktail Party

An old friend of ours recently completed law school and hosted a smashing cocktail party last night to celebrate!  It was the perfect way to end a perfect Saturday.
 There are three notable things about the photo above.  1)  The mister kept commenting on how I clashed in the sitting room while I think I matched quite perfectly!  2)  These photos were taken shortly after we arrived home from the party and in this picture you can see three animals vying for my attention which tres typical for us upon returning home.  Cracks me up.  3)  You'd never know that this dress didn't fit and isn't even zipped up in the back!
 I picked up this dress AND jacket for $1 at the Flea Market a few weeks back from one of my favorite vintage dealers.  I wasn't sure if it would fit or not but for a buck, I couldn't just leave it there, could I?  My fears were confirmed when I tried it on and couldn't zip it up past my waist.  Apparently my rib cage and ladies are much larger than those of  ladies past!  I didn't let that deter me from wanting to wear it though.  Once the coordinating jacket was thrown on over the dress, the fact that it wasn't zipped was hidden so I knew I could pull it off.  Or at least I hoped I could ;)
 I decided to do some gold and silver miss-matching which I've been doing often lately.  I wore a gold tennis bracelet I was given as a young girl, a vintage black enamel cuff bracelet and a silver Sarah Covington bird pin that I adore.  Finished the whole thing off with gifted white tights and vintage gold shoes snagged for $2, also seen here.
Not too shabby for a $3 outfit, eh?  Now I can pass this killer dress onto one of my tinier friends knowing I was able to take one unfit spin in it :)  

Friday, January 13, 2012

They're Baaaaack

Not only have I been reflecting lately but I've been sewing before the semester gets underway!  And for you, I've been adding a few bags to the shop. When I was feverishly hanging up signs around town for Alliday, I found myself wishing for a bag that would hold 11x17 flyers, and these do.  Think and you shall create.  
(click on the pictures to see listing)
Happy Friday the Thirteenth!  

She'd Be Proud

When the mister and I got married, we had a couple that I used to pet-sit for ask us why there were no dishes on any of our registries.  The wife answered her own question by musing that we must have already had some special dishes.  We did.  And still do.
 My Granny passed away in the summer of 2006 of emphysema.  It was a slow and sad death to watch and is ultimately what finally led me to quit smoking.  She was an unbelievable woman who spoke her mind, regardless of the consequences which I still admire her for.  

 After her death, bit by bit, my Papa would get rid of random things and eventually the entire family pulled together and completely overhauled his house while cleaning through loads and loads of memories.  
During one of these cleaning sessions, the mister and I were offered some dishes by my Papa.  But not just any dishes.  These were the dishes my Granny and Papa were given when they were married in 1955.  The entire set was accounted for, including coffee cups, saucers and tea pitcher.

These dishes were yucky dirty.  And I mean yucky, yucky, yucky.  After 50+ years of smoking in the home, many things were covered in a layer of nicotine, including these dishes.  I figured I could attempt to clean them and if salvageable, we would keep and use them.   
I cleaned these puppies until my hands couldn't take anymore.  They looked brand new.  I was elated.  We've yet to lose any of them in the four years they've been in our possession (knock on wood!) and we eat 90% of our meals on them.  We've even shared meals with my Papa using them.  I think Granny would be proud.  These dishes are hearty, beautiful and above all incredibly special to me.  

And yes, for the record, we use cloth napkins for EVERY meal we eat.  
Granny would be proud of that, too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Being Me: Fighting the Fire

I am a Camp Fire alumna.  I am a WoHeLo Medallion recipient but it took a long time to get there and to be proud of that.

When I was almost six years old, my family moved from 'the wrong side of the tracks' to a new home and school.  I promptly joined Camp Fire and immediately met one of my best friends for life (Hi, Tracy!).  The creative activities were endless as are my memories of those times.  I loved going to Camp Waluhili and learned more than I can even recall there.  I learned to track wildlife, to ride and care for horses, to shoot a bow and arrow, to not eat frozen skittles (hello broken teeth!), how singing the same song over and over can become annoying, to not put my elbows on the table, how to mix all flavors of sodas to create 'suicides' and that scorpions are in fact all over Oklahoma.  

During middle school, I started to become embarrassed with my involvement in Camp Fire.  Those years are rough!  It's easier to go back and list what wasn't embarrassing.  It was also during this time that we started working on Torch Bearers which are essentially more involved research projects.  Going through storage recently, I came across my old Torch Bearers.  I had studied Fiber Arts, Science Fiction and Creative Arts to name just a few.  While these were interesting, they seemed like more schoolwork outside of school and I wasn't the type of middle-schooler who was much into extra homework.  Thankfully, I had some great encouragement from my parents and unbelievable group leader that kept me trucking.

Once in high school, I rarely spoke of my Camp Fire life but I stuck through it.  My parents allowed me to quit playing basketball, quit playing clarinet, quit playing piano, quit practically everything just as long as I stayed in Camp Fire.  I didn't want to be involved in anything that anybody told me to do really, but I agreed and am glad I did.  During my high school years, I complied my WoHeLo.  Torch Bearers were nothing compared to this!  Four years of book reports, Reflections, research on Volunteerism, Environmental Issues and the Importance of Youth Group Involvement (I was incredibly active in our youth group growing up) and many, many meetings later my WoHeLo was complete.  

In May of 1998, the same night as my prom which I attended afterwards, I walked across the stage of Grand Council Fire and accepted my medallion.  I was ecstatic to be done with it all but at the same time overwhelmed that this was the end and the beginning.  With one best friend, prom date and family in the audience and my other best friend by my side, my parents presented me with my award and that was it.  

I did it.  
Fourteen years later, I realize the enormity of my accomplishment within Camp Fire.  I stuck with something for TWELVE years as a child and am a better person for it.  The things I learned, the friends I made, the confidence I found are almost all attributed to the organization and those associated with it.  I fought it for years but unlike many, I stuck with it.  I'm thankful my mom made me keep that promise and I'm proud of myself still.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Chip Off the Ol' Block

My mom has recently been scanning old photos from the days when her and my dad began their life together.  Apparently my dad was into taking outfit photos and apparently I inherited one of his poses.
Made us laugh :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fuzzy Friday: Sunning & Saving

Our kitties are indoor only (with the exception of the star who gets supervised outings on the back porch.) so they absolutely live for open windows and sunny days.  
 This ham gave me a show of truly sun-bathing (beyond adorable) and rolling around.  
 I think the star was a little miffed I awoke her from her Hollywood dreams.  
 This little Nermal wannabe found herself a different window to hunt unsuspecting (but safe) birds from.  
After ten years of volunteering with StreetCats, I'm excited to be getting more involved with them this year.  It's an organization I feel very strongly about.  I mean, how can you not love a no-kill, all volunteer, local cat shelter?  One of our biggest fundraisers is coming up in February, My Furry Valentine, and we're trying to spread the word and get donations for our silent auction and dessert tasting.  Should you be interested in donating anything (time, desserts, your wondrous crafts) let me know!  Or if you'd just like to attend the event like we did last year, we'd love to have you as a guest!

Oh, the fuzzy ladies would like to say something.

Meow, meow, meow, purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr purrrrrrrrrrrrr purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I believe that means 'Thanks for taking care of and saving the felines in Tulsa.  We all love you, too'

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Being Me: Childhood Storage Boxes

I didn't come up with any resolutions this year but rather a few goals, some of which apply to this here blog! I've decided that in addition to my regular posts (outfits, shows, fuzzy goodness...) that each month will have some specially themed posts!  

For the month of January, I thought it would be fun to talk about myself!  That doesn't sound self-centered at all ;)  In all seriousness though, I've publicly been Biff for a year now and I think it's about time to share what made/makes me ME.  If there's anything you've been wanting to ask me, now's the perfect time to do so! 

 For part of our staycation, my sister was in town and after ten years of begging my dad, we were finally given clearance to climb up into storage to rifle through some of our boxed up childhood belongings.  It was truly tough and yucky, dirty work but was soooooooo worth it!  I was on the hunt for two things:  my old bead looms and journals from high school.  We weren't expecting to bring down TEN boxes!  I spent a good chunk of the break going through, organizing and purging the contents of the boxes.

If you follow me on Instagram (bifftastica) then you've seen a few of these shots before!  I've been using it like mad lately!
A large portion of the boxes were FULL of Barbie toys.  The majority of them were from my sister's era (she's six years younger than me) but there were a handful of my old school gems that also survived.
I laid everything out, stripped down the mounds of Barbies and got rid of any furniture that was missing any pieces.  I then bagged things up separately to make it easier to sort through and store again.  Yeah, I could have some organizational 'issues'.  
I saved a few of the older gals, my old handmade doll clothes and a few of the older furniture sets.  The rest is up for grabs!  Know anyone in the market for late 80's/early 90's Barbie goods?!  Seriously.  
In addition to the gals in pink, we also found a box FULL of old McDonald's toys.  We were raised with the mentality, 'That could be worth something someday!' so into storage went all of these old toys.  These guys were cleaned up and put back into storage in a more orderly fashion, except for the cars; I kept those for myself.  Yeah, I was one of THOSE girls. Big surprise.  ;)
And then I went down 'the rabbit hole' as the mister likes to call it.  I found my old keepsakes from middle school and high school.  From memories of my first job (gag) to creative memories, I found it all.  Including those journals I was determined to find.
And I found my looms one of which had a work in progress still on it!  I was thrilled!  The turtle rings are just a fraction of my turtle collection.  Believe it or not, I wore ALL of those rings at once in addition to four or five silver turtle necklaces (and I carried a turtle book bag).  AT ONCE.  ALL OF THEM.  I was THAT girl in high school.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I put at least 40 turtle items into my giveaway box.  I had serious issues.  Let's all be thankful that phase passed finally.  I also found two of my old potholder looms and a brass collection I vaguely remember having.  Those have all been cleaned up and are out and about now :)
In sum, I'm a very organized collector/hoarder.  I was raised to do so, but that's another post.  Going through these boxes was emotional, cathartic and awesome all at the same time.  They reminded me of people, feelings, moments in time I didn't know I had forgotten.  They were a past me that led to the present me, all boxed up to discover again.  They were the best Christmas gift I could I have gotten :)
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