December 26, 2012

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Alright, here it is:

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies (courtesy of Martha Stewart)

2 1/4 c.               all-purpose flour
1/2 c.                  unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp.                  cream of tartar
1 tsp.                  baking soda
1/2 tsp.               coarse salt
1 c. (2 stix)         unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 c.               sugar
2                         large eggs
1 1/2 tsp.            cinnamon  *recipe calls for 2 tsp. I found this to be just a smidge better
1/2 tsp.               chile powder

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.
  2. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chile powder (if using). Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place, about 3 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)

December 5, 2012

Holiday Baking

I made some cookies for a goodies swap at work. This was the first time I've made this recipe. And I'm pleased to report two things:

One - I made a tiny adjustment to the recipe. I never do that because it's a recipe (and the end result wouldn't be what it's supposed to be if the recipe could be changed willy nilly) and I'm less than adventurous. But I'm glad I did it.

Two - the cookies are so tasty! I like them, Q likes them, and other folks who have grabbed some like them. Huzzah! Grand success!

I'll post the recipe with my lil spin on it later once I'm home and using a real computer. This post is via me mobile. Interesting. I hope it looks ok hahaha!


November 6, 2012


Pretty sure Q would shake his head at me if I ever did this for Christmas:


I think this is fantastic! We all know that I love Christmas and decorating for the season. In order to make this happen in my house I would have to move the sofa out of the living room. Guess I have to think of something else. :)


PS: There is an element of this photo that adds to my decorating inspiration for this year. Can you guess what it is?

September 27, 2012

Boys and TV Shows

I'm sure that you've noticed that Breathe has undergone another makeover. Sorry about that, I feel the need to clean it up (almost there) and keep the focus on the posts I publish oh so casually. I hope that this new look appeals to you. I may switch it again depending on any number of things. Apologies.

Last month was our friend Matty Bo Batty's birthday. Each year, we go out to celebrate and there's always a theme. This year was white. Everyone was to be dressed in white. Simple but more difficult than anticipated when you don't have a lot of white in your wardrobe. I say this because Q and I scoured high and low at the local V.V. Boutique and we totally scored! Take a look at my sexy man:

Handsome King.

I'm really looking forward to Baz Luhrman's take on The Great Gatsby. Just sayin.

Wanna see Matty Bo Batty's choice of white attire for his bash?

He decided to be our Lord. Bo Batty style.

Do you like The New Girl? Grey's Anatomy? I do. And yes, I am one of those people that get excited when their fave shows return for a new season. The premier of The New Girl was hysterical and awesome as every episode is. I feel a bit happier after watching it. As for Grey's Anatomy, I said to Q that I will have a regularly scheduled good cry every week now that this show is back on. True. Ask Britt Britt. Nearly every episode of Grey's sets my tear ducts into overdrive. I think it's a really good show, I love it, but I do hope that they tone down the super over the top out of this world drama. Granted it works, aaaaaaaand yeah.....fellow Grey's fans, you know what I mean.

Other shows I look forward to: Gossip Girl, The Walking Dead, Modern Family (which I am severely behind on), Dexter (that last episode was a sphincter clincher). What shows are you waiting anxiously for?


September 13, 2012

I've Mastered This One

It's the truth, and I'm definitely going to brag about this. It's so delicious, especially if you love chocolate. And yes, I'm going to have a single post for each recipe. What of it?

Classic Chocolate Mousse

4 oz.         bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, grated or finely chopped
4               large egg whites
2 tbsp.      sugar
1/4 tsp.     salt
1 c.           heavy cream (whipping cream if you are in Canada)

*Note: I found that while both chocolates are delightful for this recipe, the bittersweet was better. Semi-sweet was almost too sweet.

- In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly until melted smooth; immediately remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, beat egg whites with handheld mixer until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in sugar and salt and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Fold egg whites into chocolate until blended.
- In a deep bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture until blended. Final mixture will be very soft.
- Divide mousse into small serving dishes or keep in large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap (or tin foil, anything really) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days) before serving.

This particular time I used silicon cupcake cups as serving dishes. So cute!
I also topped with shredded sweetened coconut and shaved bittersweet chocolate.
Another time I topped with shaved green candy melts (by Wilton).
Next time I'm going to use whipped cream with vanilla sugar and coconut. Mmm!

It's the first dessert that I made successful from scratch the first time I tried. Bragging rights: earned.


Many Yummies In My Tummy

I barely remembered my login info. That's bad. Bad blogger is me. Anyways, to make up for it, I'm going to share some recipes of a few things I've made this summer (some more than once or twice). I know you'll love these. I do. So do my guests. :)

Stuffed Cucumber Cups

1             3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp.    mayonnaise
1/2 c.      feta cheese crumbles
2 tbsp.    minced red onions
1 tbsp.    chopped fresh green onions
1 tbsp.    chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp.   grated lemon zest
2 tsp.      lemon juice
1 tsp.      minced garlic
2             English cucumbers, peeled (I didn't) and sliced into 1 in. slices (I did)
1             red bell pepper

*Note: I did not use mayonnaise or the fresh dill as I had a dill and ranch salad dressing on hand which worked great. I also excluded the red onions. Just a personal preference. This makes a small appetizer but it packs a big garlic-y punch. Cutting out the red onions does not affect the potential need for a breath mint afterwards.

- In the bowl of a food processor (or KitchenAid mixer) pulse cream cheese and mayonnaise (or ranch and dill dressing) until smooth.
- Add feta, red onion (if you use it), green onions, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic; pulse until smooth.
- Place mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip.
- Using a melon baller, remove a small portion of the centre of the cucumber slice (careful to not go through the bottom!)
- Pipe in mixture to each cucumber cup.
- Slice red bell pepper into small 1 in. pieces. Garnish each cucumber cup with a little bell pepper.
- Serve immediately.



August 2, 2012

The One You've All Been Waiting For: KING

You probably noticed him in the "Welcome!" photo in the previous post, but here he is for all to see. King is a 4ish year old Bull Mastiff. He was a rescue dog and we took him in when my new brother-in-law realized that consistency is what King needed (brother-in-law lives on an acreage and works unpredictable hours. Kudos to brother-in-law for rescuing him in the first place 2 years ago. Much love new brother, much love). Instead of strangers taking him home, we did. He stays in the family and gets the level of comfort and consistency he needs. The sweetest dog with the biggest smile I've ever seen. We are in the process of training him up a level and so far he is on the Honour Roll. There are some challenges to overcome but we are pushing through and doing very well. Tonight was a special night for King and I: it was our first walk together on our own. We both did stellar, as pack leadette and student. Super proud of Kingers. Anyways, enough chatter.....

Best smile, right? 

I am the only one full of estrogen in this house. I live with 4 boys. 4! Q, Floyd, Arkham, and now, King. I love all my boys to the depths of the universe and back. This is just the beginning to the Eff Animal Kingdom I think, we shall see what the future holds.


Holy Toledo!

My oh my it has been a busy month! Moving, new dog, new niece, party, and relaxing nights with good souls. Finally I have a few moments to show you what's been happening around these parts. First, lets start with a wee tour of our new happy home. We love it, it's just the right size, shape, style, and more than we could've asked for. It's (dare I say) perfect! Look for yourself!

My new fave and super cute summer outfit. It was ultra comfortable,
great choice for hosting a housewarming party.

Ok ok, I know I know, not the greatest selection of photos, but would you believe that these were the best ones? Shocking, isn't it? Well, I swear that once this house has been lived in a bit more and we get so settled that I can start all the projects and whatnot I have in mind, you will then get new (and hopefully better) photos.

We were glad to have so many friends and family come to our housewarming party. I got to make some delicious cupcakes, stuffed cucumbers, and a refreshing corn salsa.

I heart this photo. Welcome!

 We also have a firepit in the yard. It makes delicious smokies and even tastier roasted marshmallows. Mmmm.....
I think it goes without saying that the hot tub is here to stay. We were planning on selling it and building a deck, but after seeing how much fun everyone had with it, we decided to keep it and build the deck around it. Huzzah! Be prepared for polar hot tub parties!

I think I forgot to mention that a gaggle of us good folk went to see this little film on opening night. IT. WAS. EPIC. Can't wait to go see it again.

Pretty sure I have a little crush on Bane.....and Marion Cotilliard. Just sayin.

Stay tuned friends, there's more to come!


July 13, 2012

Movies Movies Movies!

Have a look at some of the flicks I'm really excited for:

The Great Gatsby - This film looks fantastic, filled with style, pure indulgence, and so much more! Plus Leo, oh he's one of my favourites. I also love the song on this trailer. Smiles!

The Bourne Legacy - I admit that when I first saw the poster, I was a bit upset that Matt Damon wasn't in this film. After seeing the trailer though? WHOA! This is gonna be soooo good! I love action movies, a little too much sometimes. This is one of those times.

Total Recall - Action movie. Enough said.

The Hobbit - Q and I are in the middle of our Lord of the Rings (extended editions) marathon. I/We are so pumped for The Hobbit this year! Oh man, it's going to be great. I think that Martin Freeman is going to be a great Bilbo.

The Raven - I've loved Edgar Allan Poe for a long time. "The Raven" is one of my absolute favourites. Really looking forward to this one.

The Dark Knight Rises - And of course, my #1: the Batman. I have been waiting since December for this. I have watched the trailers numerous times and just get more and more excited every time. Q and I have purchased our tickets already for opening night for the new VIP Cineplex. We be seein' dat sheet in style! Tom Hardy as Bane?! Catwoman?! BANE!? Aaaaahh! too excited..... 

Well now that you know that I'm a movie goer, and that I'm basically 14 years old when it comes to action movies (read: most all movies), I hope that these trailers get you excited to see my selection in theatres.

Which movies are you looking forward to?


July 9, 2012

05.12.12 Fourth Act

Our reception was held at The Pines Restaurant and we couldn't have asked for anything better. That is a BEAUTIFUL restaurant with delicious food, tasty drinks, and wonderful, friendly staff. I highly recommend going here for an event or even breakfast by lake (it's amazing, trust me). We had such a great time and rumour has it that all guests in attendance were blown away by how laid back our wedding was. Everyone was happy and had a super fun time. We certainly got what we were aiming for. Laid back was the whole feel of the day, from getting ready in the morning all the way to last call, speeches were short and filled with more heart than any speech I've ever heard (Thank you sooooo much to Mr. & Mrs. Babe, Mother, and new Dad!).

We had a great MC, Matty Bobatty, who kept our laid back feel going strong. We had some great tributes done by the beautiful and talented Jooree (we heart you!) and Q put together a little slideshow of the two of us, which included a mildly embarrassing photo of myself posing like a muscle beach wannabe. It was awesome! Our dinner was delicious: spinach and sun dried tomato salad with goat cheese and a poppyseed vinaigrette, brie stuffed chicken with veggies and rice, and a heavenly New York cheesecake with berries. Mmmmm good!

Our decor was clean and minimal as we wanted the beauty of the restaurant to stand out (which it did). Our entrance table housed our guest book: a calendar for our guests to sign on their birthday and also to mark other important dates for us to remember; our seating chart: a multi-photo frame with each numbered table displayed over a watermark of some beautiful fabric we scanned; as well as some of our engagement photos, candles and flowers. We decided to do a donation to the SPCA as our wedding favours instead of a little knick knack trinket or something of the like, we wanted to support that organization. We love animals. Like.....a lot.   :)

Q and I sat at a sweetheart table in lieu of a long head table (the table wasn't big enough for us AND the wedding party, hahaha!). I really enjoyed that, Q and I had a chance to sit together and talk, watch everyone enjoy the company surrounding them, a bit of we time amidst the chaos. Our wedding wine glasses were a surprise find at Anthropologie by Seestor, and that little polar bear there, that's our cake topper (purchased locally in Jasper). It wouldn't sit on the cake as you can see (below) by the mound of blackberries on top of it!

Our guests dining tables had cluster centrepieces. A mixture of mason jars and skinny vases, warm little candles nestled in-between them all, topped off with our table numbers: simple wooden frames (Michaels) that we burned the edges and the numeral into, holding a particular animal track. That was the fun part: the animal track kissing game! We aren't major fans of the glass clinking, so we decided that each table had a track and each guest had to work as a team to figure it out. Once they felt they had the correct animal, that's when they clinked their glasses (we still had that for the traditionalists) and one person stood up and announced their answer. I held the key and if they were correct, Q and I would smooch. 5 out of 7 tables answered correctly. Huzzah!

Q gave himself a challenge for our music and projector system. We didn't have a DJ or anything like that, we only had the iPad and the necessary equipment to show a slideshow presentation (read: projector and screen). Q ran everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, through the iPad: music (with playlists for each portion of the night on the DJ app), the tribute from Jooree, and his slideshow. Interested in doing something similar? Shoot me an email and Q will tell it like it is with that tech stuff. We provided all of our own gear, save for the projector (borrowed from work) and screen (provided by The Pines). It was a lot to pack into the car but well worth it!

Our wedding cake was absolutely delicious: baked cheesecake with blackberries on top. AMAZING! You see that cute couple in the middle down there? That's Bashmore and her man S.Eng, they were the "lucky" ones to catch the garter and bouquet. I say "lucky" because they are hardcore, they did not mess around, they were getting those things and they didn't care who was in their way. They won!

To sum it up, our day was superb, perfect and absolutely stunning. It was like a dream that I never wanted to wake from. Q, I love you with all my heart, with every ounce of my 5'4" frame, you are my light and my true love, and we had a f***ing wicked wedding day!

 *SIDE NOTE! Happy 5th Wedding Anniversary to the Babes! We share the same wedding date, and to have their marriage recognized as well, we had everyone clink for kisses throughout dinner for them. Coincidently enough their wedding song popped up during the dance time. How's that for romance? :)

Best. Day. Ever.


July 7, 2012

05.12.12 Third Act

So we had a slightly larger than average wedding party and it was great! Yellow and green were our colours and we decided yellow for our ladies would be nice. Q wore an Irish kilt and he looked amazing! All the guys looked fantastic! Q opted for his guys to wear a black watch tartan while he wore saffron. As for the gals, I told them to choose a dress they liked enough to want to wear again in the future. So each of my gals had varying shades of yellow that flattered their figures and personalities, etc.. Everyone looked so amazing! My dress was Alfred Sung for anyone out there who is interested. My favourite part of the dress was the bottom, all the ruffles and layers was so fun to walk with!

I mentioned before that the bridesmaids carried "bouquets", lanterns that I added ribbon and felt leaf details to. I also crafted up the glass to give it an etched look so the LED tea lights would really glow. I love them, they turned out better than I had imagined. Another favourite piece of mine was my necklace. I wear it nearly everyday now, it's beautiful and perfect for our mountain wildlife theme wedding. It wasn't an obvious theme, but you'll see more about that soon. My necklace was silver and crystal elk head and my gals all wore matching gold and crystal elk necklaces. Lovely!

July 2, 2012

05.12.12 Second Act

Our fathers were the leaders of our wedding party and our mothers (and my grandfather) gave us away. Different from other weddings, but it was absolutely wonderful and meant so much to us to have our fathers lead the charge and our mothers (and Gpa) at our sides. We had a large wedding party. You'll see our guys and gals in the upcoming batch of photos. We had the perfect day. I kid you not: Beautiful location and we got extremely lucky with the weather (phew!), with so many family members and friends who came from near and far to be with us to celebrate. It was glorious! As funeral directors, Q and I are good at keeping our cool and are prepared for at least one thing to go awry. NOT A THING WENT WRONG. I can't tell you what a great sense of relief and surprise we felt, hahaha! Our ceremony was short, sweet, with our hearts exposed to everyone and the mountains. I had reached a whole new level of peace.

The first photo in this group is one of my favourites. 

Pyramid Lake 05.12.12 First Act

Let the assault of wedding photos begin! I apologize in advance for the number of photos you'll see, but there's just so much I want to share. First I'm going to show you our morning and right before the ceremony. I loved that my grandmother wore a pendant with a photo of me when I was little. That made me weepy. She's so great. :)

I LOVED OUR FLOWERS! My bouquet and Q's boutonniere were incredible! The bridesmaids "bouquets" turned out really great too. The ladies carried lanterns. I found these really elegant and streamlined lanterns that I added some ribbon and felt details to. Out of a long list of DIY projects for our wedding, the lanterns were the first items completed (well in advance too). I love them. Those coming up soon for your viewing pleasure. Stay tuned all! There's lots more to come!

June 30, 2012

We're Moving!

In T-minus 5 days, or slightly less than that if you're going by hours.....

So we're moving to our own house. Our first house together that we will own. No more renting for us! No more lame and overly rigid landlords. Ha ha suckers! You don't get our money anymore! It goes to other people now..... dang, oh well, we get a house!

Today we have sorted a lot of things that were in storage and we are beginning to pack some items from our little living room. We are so close to having moving down to a science it's ridiculous. In saying that, we have our evenings for this week planned as to what rooms and items are to be packed. When's the big move, you ask? Thursday. And it's coming up quick.

I'm super pumped to put things away in their new spots at the house. I know a lot of people who say that that is their favourite part of moving, the unpacking. I've gotten so far ahead of myself (and Q) and sketched out the "blueprint" of the house (poorly, very poorly sketched out) and drew in where furniture would go and what each room would be designated for. And I've started brainstorming colour schemes and themes for each room, how to repurpose some of the furniture we have, and what food we should have for our house warming party the following weekend. I know, I know, that's a bit much considering we haven't even moved in yet. I'm really excited to finally have a house of my (our) own to decorate and host parties in. Or I'm just sliiiiiiightly nuts.

It's the former, trust me.

This is our house: main level on the left, basement on the right. Don't judge me by my crappy drawing skills.

Coming up next on Breathe:

- Our Wedding post: Finally! We have all the photos. It's what you've been waiting all year for.
- Brainstorms For The House post: colours and themes, repurpose projects, craft and art projects, etc.
- Puppy post: Did I forget to mention that we're getting a dog too? He's beautiful and adorable, plus he's the size of a horse.....kinda. I'm ultra excited for this, I've never had a dog before! I've had fish, and I have cats, and I guess I'm a step-pet-parent to Q's dog Loki, but now I will have my own dog. His name is King. You'll see why.

Loki is super adorable too, as you can see. Photo from my post "One Love, Two Love....."

Thanks for stopping by! Come back soon for these exciting upcoming posts!


June 16, 2012

Huge Group Of Girls

Bahaha! So funny. I would be "Bradley, the sleepy one!"

Fun Filled Friday the Fifteenth

Yesterday was a day focused on friends, two friends in particular: Jooree and MikMik.

My Friday started very early in the morning. Woke up and drove to Ponoka with MikMik and her momma for a horse show. I believe it's called the Alberta Classic Horse Show. I don't know, I assume that's the name because that's what the prize ribbons say. Anyways.....I'm very lucky to have two very close friends that are equestrian riders. Different styles, very different styles, but I finally got the opportunity to see MikMik ride. Friday was day one of the three day weekend show. She rode once and got first in her class. First! It was amazing! It was really interesting for me to see the differences between MikMik's riding and Britt Britt's riding. Very cool indeed.

Here's a little peek-a-boo into the Ponoka show:

I absolutely love her suit. Beautiful!
On our way to the arena.
First place goes to Tamale Wally. Great job Wally and MikMik!

Then into Friday evening, we had a little soiree for Jooree. She is going to Slovenia for 6 months to film a documentary and visit with her family. We went to Jekyll & Hyde pub and what a great turnout! Lots and lots and lots of friends came out to say "See ya soon" to Jooree. We gifted her with an iPod Touch filled with music from everyone. That's like 3000 songs! She's got lots to listen to. I put some songs on there that are amazing and that I love and I hope that Jooree comes to love them too.

Jooree, it was a wonderful night, I'm gonna miss you but time will fly and we will be welcoming you off the plane soon enough. Your research is going to bring a lot of issues and events to light. Your film is going to be great and will spread a message to many minds. You're a beautiful person with a real talent and a gift, a big heart and the best sparkle wardrobe.   :)    We love you Jooree!

Early in the evening and lots of good people.

These beautiful bests pull a serious face.

My love and Jooree, best friends for life

Thanks for the great tunes Headwind! Especially for playing the song for Jooree. 

I hope you all have a great weekend with your friends, I know I will. Double date with Sean and Britt Britt. Dinner and a movie. It's going to be a goooooood night. 

Have a great weekend filled with smiles everyone!