Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's Thursday

Can you believe it's the last day of April! Time flies!
Thanks for all the comments and input yesterday about my name "Cyball Photography" 
I once heard that if people have to ask what it means or where it came from then it's a keeper. So keeping it I will be, I was just curious what you guys thought.
I don't have much planned for the weekend. I think Kristen and I are going to finish cleaning up our backyard & garage from all winter. You know how things get all yucky and dis-organized. Other than that just regular chores and errands.
And a blast from the past, this was me LAST April, quite a difference in my belly eh? I guess those bikini days are over!
Today's Quote
Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.
—Sophia Loren

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Wednesday

Check out my photo blog 
I have my favs up from my photo shoot this past weekend.
I have a photography question....what do you think of the name Cyball photography? Too unique, catchy? Hate, love it? Just curious what you think....don't really want to put this question on that blog since it's more personal and mostly friends read this blog and I value your input.
I'm just debating if it's something I should change or keep? 
I like it more because I like the "C" part of things which I really like as my logo per se. But I'm wondering if I need it to be more personal so you know it's Christa, and not left wondering who the heck is Cyball?!?! :)
Today's Quote
What might my life be, like were I to give in, to the rhythms of my own ragged dance?
—Susan Hanson

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Baby Update: 18 Weeks

Still feelin' appetite has increased so it's been a bit weird eating more food, however I am enjoying eating more food :)
I don't have a belly pic this week (that's next week) but I finally have photos of the "sheep" items that I bought a couple of weeks ago
This was the first item I bought. The decorative sheep for the nursery
This second sheep item I bought is plush and will hopefully be a toy when he or she is a wee bit older since it'll quite possibly be bigger than the baby when they're born :)
Also a co-worker of mine from our Montreal office, sent this to me last week with our inter-office mail.
It's my first "gift" per se....I was so excited and I absolutely LOVE it! She made it herself.
This photo was taken on my phone at work
Next week I'll be having my first ultrasound so I'll fill you in on how that goes then :)
Today's Quote
"The capacity for uplift is part of what makes us essentially, euphorically human"
~Jessica Winter

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend in Review

Hello my friends...did you have a nice weekend?
Friday night Kristen & I went for a little drive. Turkey hunting season opened today and he wanted to check out some new spots he had found out about.
While driving home I noticed Boone had gone quiet to see this
He was curled up SO tight & sound asleep.
Saturday morning Kristen gave Boone a bath in his new kiddie pool....he loves this thing :)
I think he loves baths even more
he, he....totally looks like a drowned rat :)
Drying off is the trickier part of the bath cause he gets so hyper & won't stay still.
See him biting the towel?
Saturday afternoon I had a photo shoot. I had such a good time, it was so hot out but there was a breeze that kept it comfortable.
It felt sooooo good getting out with my camera after all winter. I didn't realize how much I actually missed it :(
Head over to my photo blog for a sneak peek!
I was supposed to have a 2nd session but it was post-poned until a later date. However it all worked out because the time that the 2nd shoot was supposed to start we got a thunder storm instead. Phew!! Glad I wasn't out in that.
And.....Saturday night well maybe I should say the wee hours of Sunday morning I finished reading this, Breaking Dawn!
Yeah baby!
I'm officially done reading the Twilight Saga but I have a feeling I'll be reading them all again in the near future. I was so taken with reading as fast as I could just to see what happened that now I want to go back and read a bit slower to see if there was anything that I missed.
Sunday was seriously.
I didn't feel like doing housework and housework was all that I really had to do. I'm never bored per se but yesterday was just brutal. I think I paced the house & fidgeted more than I don't know what. I'll be kicking myself tonight when I see everything that I "should" have done yesterday.
Oh well....that's life I guess.
Today's Quote:
"Being fully present automatically lifts your spirits. Clears your mind of distractions. Brings clarity. Even some joy."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Food Friday: Chicken Divan Recipe

Mom & Dad we're here Christmas time, which also meant a visit to Dad's sisters house.
She prepared such a lovely lunch for us consisting of:
Chicken Divan
Wild grain rice
Baby Carrots
For dessert: coffee & cherry cheesecake
Plus other christmas cookies, bars, etc.
But it was the Chicken Divan that I couldn't forget.....
Chicken Divan is basically a chicken/broccoli casserole and if you google the recipe you'll find a million different variations of how to make it.
Well maybe not a million, but a LOT!
Last night I decided I was going to make my own version, and personally I think it was DELICIOUS!
Christa's Chicken Divan:
You will need
3 - boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes
1 - head of broccoli (I prefer stems removed) chopped
1 - can of mushroom soup
1/2 cup - milk
2 - tsps of curry powder
3/4 - 1 cup - plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup - fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 cup - basmatic rice
- Preheat over to 395
- Cook Basmati rice, set aside
- In a casserole dish, mix chicken cubes, broccoli pieces, mushroom soup and curry powder.
- Rinse your soup can with the milk and a pour into the casserole dish.
- Mix Well
- Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top of everything
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of the bread crumbs
- Bake in oven for approx 35 min.
- Serve with Basmati rice
**Kristen & I mixed our casserole into our basmatic rice and it was YUMMY!!**
Today's Quote:
No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. ~Proverb

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nan & Pop Bishop

My grandparents on my mother's side are visiting from Nfld and wanted to come by for dinner while they were here.
I was more than happy to oblige. I booked the afternoon off work and headed home to cook up a scoff for them. My Uncle & his daughter came as well.
I had such a nice time just chatting with them and of course snapping a few shots.
I loved seeing them since I only see them once a year or once every couple of years.
I've been very lucky to grow up knowing my grandparents (even great-grandparents when I was really young) because I know so many people are not as fortunate.
I'll see them again before they return home and again when I'm home in July. I have to cherish this time as they are getting older and that's the reality of life.
Today's Quote:
It' to assume that heaven is right here, right now, and let the stars fall where they may.

~Margaret Gunther

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Baby Brother

The reason I did my Earth Day post yesterday (Happy Earth Day by the way) is because today is my brother-in-law's birthday, who's turning 23
I consider him like a baby brother to me. I've known him since he was 12, watched him go through puberty, watched him go through some troubling times in his life and I'm now watching him turn himself into a respectable & decent young man.
He has a quiet, gentle spirit. He loves to smile and is a very spiritual person.
This is the most recent photo of him and his girlfriend, they're all dressed up for her graduation photos.
Pretty spiffy eh?
Happy Birthday little bro, here's to this year & many more!
Today's Quote
"Everybody has to look at his or her own footprint and do the best they can. It's not about being perfect, it's about doing something. If we're looking for perfection, we'll never, ever get there"
~Laurie David 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day Freebies & More...

Tomorrow is Earth Day, in light of that some business's are having Earth Day promotionals, such as:
Starbucks go and get a free coffee, the catch? You must bring your own travel mug....makes sense.
Also if you're close to a Disney Store bring in 3 empty plastic water bottles and you'll receive a free Mickey tote bag.
Don't forget Mcdonalds has a coffee promo on right now as well, its not an "Earth Day" promo per se but if you order a small coffee during breakfast hours, it's FREE. No other purchase necessary.
Also check out the Earth Day Canada website for more ideas on how you can help the enviroment, not only tomorrow but everyday!
Click HERE
Today's Quote
"Every day is Earth Day"
 ~Author Unknown

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend in Review

It was a wonderful weekend.
For three reasons
(1) The weather
Saturday was so warm out that I got a bit of a rosy glow on my cheeks and nose. Not quite enough to call a sunburn but definitely a glow :)
(2) I got most of the cleaning & organizing done that was on my to do list
(3) I read this entire book!
I started Friday night and finished it Sunday morning
Told you I was hooked.
All I have left to read now is Breaking Dawn and hopefully Midnight Sun once it's published....couldn't be soon enough.
So far I've been borrowing the books but I'm strongly considered buying them because I really do think I'd read these books more than once.
And as much as the movie doesn't measure up to the books I also broke down and bought the blu-ray disc so I can now watch Edward & Bella over and over :)
Today's Quote:
"Laugh where we must, be candid where we can."
~Alexander Pope

Friday, April 17, 2009

Food Friday: Organic

Organic foods as defined by Wikipedia: 
"Organic foods are made according to certain production standards. The use of conventional non-organic pesticides, insecticides and herbicides is greatly restricted and avoided as a last resort. However, contrary to popular belief, certain non-organic fertilisers are still used. If livestock are involved, they must be reared without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones, and generally fed a healthy diet. In most countries, organic produce may not be genetically modified."

Do you eat Organic?
Kristen & I have starting buying more organic foods this year than we ever have.
Overall I don't see much difference in taste.
I do find however bananas have the biggest difference...even if the outside peel is starting to turn brown the banana itself is still okay to eat and not gone all mushy and yucky. Where non-organic bananas I find spoil REALLY quickly once they have even a little bit of brown ripeness on the peel.
Price wise our grocery bill hasn't changed that much either.
I know there's no proven studies that organic is better but why not try to eat foods that haven't been modified just so they're bigger or prettier.
How many extra chemicals are we putting in our body that we just don't have to be?
This week's challenge:
Add 2-3 organic items to your grocery cart instead of the regular non-organic version
Pasta sauce (yep they have bottled organic pasta sauce now)
The list goes on....I bet you won't even notice a difference! Happy Friday
Today's Quote
We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Boone Update

Boone....our baby...for now :)
He'll be 10 months next week, where has the time gone?
He's 68lbs and still growing
Overall he has calmed down some but still had a lot of puppy moments and mentality. Especially when I'm walking him and he see's other people/dogs.
Here's some photos I took of him Monday night
When he realized I was sitting on the floor to take his picture he came running
And then he discovered Maggie sitting on the couch. He just stares at her, wagging his tail.
Until Maggie realizes he's watching....usually she'll ignore him but somedays she'll hiss and run away.
This night she just ignored and went to sleep after she'd finished licking herself.....the life of a cat :)
Today's Quote
"Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses..."
~George Herbert

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Baby Update: 16 weeks

Well another Midwife appt down.
Everything went well, Kristen was with me and heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time.
All seems to be progressing as it should be. Which was a huge relief since I girl I know from highschool was almost full term and lost her baby. I don't really know the full details, all I do know is that there will be a funeral for their precious baby girl and I know I'm completely devestated by the news.
I cannot even imagine the pain they're feeling right now.
Because of that news I had been feeling quite a bit of anxiety the last few days about my own pregnancy.
But I've accepted that whatever is meant to be will be and I can only deal with things when or if they come.
I know I have an amazing support system no matter what should happen.
My thoughts & prayers are with the highschool friend & her family at this time.
On a bit of a lighter note here's my newest belly pic at 16 weeks, to date I've gained 9lbs total:
Today's Quote:
Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Photography: Summer Special

Back to the grind for those of you who had yesterday off.
For the rest of us, we're over the Monday blues and back in the swing of things.
And now that you're back into the swing of things, you might also be starting to plan your summers.
In light of that, check out my photo blog as I currently have a summer special going on. This will be my basic package pricing from now until I go on maternity leave.
Trying to keep things simple :)
So if you or a friend is looking to have photos done, get in touch soon.
Seriously summer schedules fill up FAST!
Which I'm sure you all are quite aware of.
Today's Quote:
“It is not length of life, but depth of life.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Monday: Weekend in Review

It's Easter Monday, Happy Easter!
I hope you all had a nice weekend....and hopefully a long weekend.
I loved having Friday off, after a couple of hectic weeks it was exactly what I needed.
Friday hubby & I headed to my Aunt's house for our annual Good Friday dinner. It was really nice.
Even Boone had an awesome time, chasing around Nikki
He might have pushed himself a little too much, he basically slept the rest of the weekend....LOL.
I honestly think his muscles were sore from the work out.
My super cute cousin Samantha.....
My brother took this photo. Apparently he stole my camera and took a couple :)
Pretty good shot of her eh? Considering the camera was in manual mode and he has NO IDEA how to adjust the settings.....
My grandparents who are visiting from Nfld, they look great eh?
Good food + good company = Good Times!
Saturday Kristen took Boone with him to run errands and I took MAJOR advantage with all of my boys out of the house.
I was able to do all of my house cleaning, some laundry, some spring cleaning (washed the interior of all my windows plus washed the curtains) and finished reading New Moon (2nd book in the Twilight series)
Everyone kept telling me that this book was slower but still good.
I disagree, I loved this one as much as the first. I really enjoyed the Jacob storyline of this book.
Yes I found it a bit predictable but thoroughly entertaining.
Sunday I went to church since Easter is a Christian holiday and I was invited by my Aunt & Uncle to go along with my grandparents. I'm glad I went, the service was really nice.
After church, myself plus 18 other family members went to The Mandarin
All I can say is YUM! What a treat :)
How was your Easter?
Today's Quote:
"Spring has finally arrived, and with it, renewed hope and a fresh start."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Food Friday: Vegetable Garden

Happy Good Friday!
I hope you're enjoying the day off work :)
Today I'm just going to give a few ideas of things you can plant in your veggie garden this spring/summer.
Some people love ROOT vegetables.
Your root vegetables are carrots, turnip, potatoes, etc. These vegetables are the best ingredients for soups, stews, and who could forget good 'ol newfie Jiggs dinner.
I personally love the veggies that I like cooking with the most, such as:
We're planning on growing bell peppers
and maybe 1 jalepeno pepper plant as well. Just for kicks
Green onions
& regular onions
Snap Peas
These would be mainly for Kristen since he loves them.
Cherry Tomatoes
These are perfect for everything.....we had so many tomatoes last year that we didn't even know what to do with them. So I've suggested to Kristen that we not grow regular size tomatoes and stick to cherry only since they're the ones we prefer. They're perfect for salads, snacks and I love how they cook down when you're putting them in a sauce or in pasta.
And we might plant a few potatoes, location still to be determined.
The rest of our veggies we usually buy at the farmers market in the summer months.
Can't wait til summer, I LOVE the farmers market!
What are you planning on growing in your vegetable garden this year?
Today's Quote:
Digging potatoes is always an adventure, somewhat akin to fishing. There is forever the possibility that the next cast - or the next thrust of the digging fork - will turn up a clunker.
~ Jerome Belanger

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Baby Update: Week 15

I'm feeling good. Nausea & sickness seems to be finally passing (knock on wood), I haven't had much heartburn this week at all, my back only hurts if I'm on my feet too much. And my bump is definitely getting bigger.
I had one co-worker come to me yesterday and say "I don't want to upset you, but I think you're going to be really big"
I responded with "You're not the first to tell me that"
A lot of people think I'm showing early and showing a lot of belly for only being 15 weeks.
I personally have NO CLUE at all but I feel good, I think I'm normal based on what I've been reading and everyone womans body is different so I'm not too worried.
Even though I must admit being the size of a cow isn't really appealing to me at all....LOL :)
Now on to other matters.....sheep!
I'm sure you ladies are familiar with the conversations that you've had with your girlfriends when you were younger. The plans that you the colours you would have at your future wedding when you weren't even engaged yet.
The names you'd call your non-existant children.
And then how you would decorate the nursery.
Since I was about 19-20 years old I've always known I wanted a "sheep theme" for the nursery. Not cheesy theme where I have sheep themed borders, lamps, switch plates, comforter, curtains, rug, wall hangings, pictures...need me to go on?
I want a pale yellow nursery with all other things white :)
Right now things are going according to plan. I've picked a paint chip in a pale yellow called "newborn" for when I am ready to paint. Not yet...
We're being given a white crib and my Mom is working on a sheep themed quilt for the baby.
I did break down however and actually BUY my first items for the baby this week.
I bought two items:
1) Sheep decoration
It's basically a paper/styrofoam decorative piece that'll look really cute on a nightstand or book shelf.
2) A Plush Toy Sheep
Which is too big for when the baby is born, but she/he can probably play with it once their 6 months or so.
Kristen couldn't quite understand why I was buying these items but I explained sheep are in season right now with it being Easter. If I put it off when I am ready to buy things for the nursery I won't be able to find it since sheep aren't really a popular nursery item per se.
I had all intentions of taking photos of the two items but I was a total slacker with the camera last night....sorry. But I'll post photos soon, I promise.
And that's it for this week on the baby side of things.
Today's Quote:
We should be great, each of us radiant, full of music and full of stories.
~Monica Shannon

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Hump Day!

It's Wednesday, and it's hump day.
Get over today and the rest of the week is smooth sailing. Or I certainly hope so.
Last week was nuts....crazy busy & very hectic.
This week it has been too, but this week I feel absolutely useless where last week at least I felt productive in between all the other chaos.
Maybe it's because we had a dumping of snow on Monday and all my happy spring thoughts were out the window :(
But today is sunny and the mercury is slowly on the rise again. Hopefully THAT was our last snowfall and spring really is here.
Friday is a holiday....woo-hoo! Kristen & I will be spending the afternoon with some of my Mom's side of the family since my Aunt is hosting a family dinner.
Sunday morning we'll be attending the Easter church service & then heading to the Mandarin for lunch.
Not sure what we'll be doing "in-between" that remains to be seen.
Not much to talk about today so I'll sign off, don't forget tomorrow is baby update and friday is Food Friday!
Today's Quote:
"If life teaches you nothing else, know this for sure: When you get the chance, go for it."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Favourite 10 Things

As mentioned yesterday I have some photos of our purchases this past weekend.
Along with that, I read a blog post by Justin & Mary (awesome photographers that I follow) about their favourite 10 things.
These items cannot be your dog, husband, etc. I know if I did that, just listing my family & friends would use up all 10.
So in light of being superficial...list your current favourite 10 THINGS :)
1. New Ikea Lamp
2. Victoria's Secret Garden
line of lotions
preferably in the scent: Love Spell
Since I've been pregnant I wear this stuff more than ever!
This is in our basement, finally adding some "homey" touches.
4. Our basement 
 told you it's getting more homey
5. Book shelves
 serving as DVD shelves :)
6. Newfoundland Memories
These shelves are a work in progress, they'll hold our keepsakes and items that remind us of home
7. Twilight
Yep I think I'm hooked.
8. Tim Horton's hot chocolate
Seems to be my craving since giving up coffee.
Well chocolate anything seems to be my craving! Some things never change.
9. Blogs
I'm a blog addict. I love reading blogs.
I have about 20-30 that I check daily about half of them being photography blogs. Even though I'm starting to delete the ones that don't update often or I'm coming to realize that I'm not really a big fan of their style of photography. Or my other reason being that the author of the blog is too snarky
I'm just not big on the "holier than thou" or "I know best" attitude.
There's one photography blog in particular that I follow mainly because it's a reference guide to "other" photographers blogs.
I follow it for the resource but the author of it, meh...not really a fan of her. I would class her as snarky fo' sho!
It really is a much better quality than DVD!
And just for fun....a photo of Boone
Today's Quote:
My greatest luxury is silence.
~Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekend in Review

What a weekend!
I didn't think it was going to be a busy one, but it sure ended up being exactly that.
Friday night headed to Kristen's late night hockey game, he played in a tourament this weekend.
Saturday was up very early to head to Ikea for breakfast and some shopping. As previously mentioned, I think I'm somewhat started my nesting phase and both Kristen & I were "on the ball" to get some accessories to complete our house. We had a great time. Got some great deals and the house already feels and looks better. I'll post pictures later in the week.
That's only a tip of the iceberg though. Still a LOT on my/our "to-do" list.
After Ikea, I cooked lunch. Kristen went to another hockey game and I stayed home since my brother was visiting and I had house cleaning to do plus a lasagna to make. Which by the way turned out to be probably one of my best lasagna's ever :) Yeah it was that good!
After dinner we headed to our friends house for a birthday party (small & quiet with a few friends)
Sunday up again....made breakfast and off to Walmart to get an awesome 6' book shelf that was priced soooooo good we couldn't pass up on it. We're getting a 2nd one but could only get 1 yesterday since that's all that would fit in the car.
Headed to Kristen's last hockey game of the tournament. Came home, ate, did the dishes, went for a Sunday evening drive to Dairy Queen for ice cream. Then spent the rest of the night setting up our new shelves from Ikea, putting all our dvds in the new walmart book shelf and hanging photos in our basement.
Seriously can't wait to take photos of it all to share with you.
Such a busy but oh so productive weekend.
Oh and in between all of that I'm about half way through reading Twilight. Would like to say the more I read it the more disappointed I am in the movie :( but loving the book for sure!
Today's Quote:
“Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to what they want to do.”

Friday, April 3, 2009

Food Friday: Herb Garden

Thanks for the input yesterday on the bottles & diapers. I appreciate it.
And I might actually be in touch with some of you since I really know nothing about cloth diapers and have a LOT to learn.
Now on to Friday's food post....herb gardens.
Kristen & I plant herbs every spring and I LOVE them.
We usually put them in large square pots and keep them on our deck. That way when I'm cooking, whatever fresh herb I might be needing I just run out to the deck, snip what I need and right into the dish :)
If your weather doesn't permit a herb garden being outside I would recommend starting one inside and then move it outside later in the summer. Or keeping on a bright window sill.
Not sure what to plant?
Well here's some ideas and where to use it:
to be used on your baked potatoes, in mashed potatoes, in omlettes or quiche. These are good if you want a mild "green onion" flavour.
this is excellent mixed in marinades for grilled chicken and pork.
Or mixed with a bit of olive oil for roasted potatoes.
this is the perfect compliment to the rosemary....again with the chicken, pork & roasted potatoes
warning: if you plant mint, plant it in a pot ALL ALONE! It will grow really well and will take over all the other herbs
Where to use? Freeze in ice cubes, crush in drinks (like mojitos)
It also goes well in couscous or on meat like lamb
Parsley is probably my favourite herb cause I find it so versatile. There's not much Kristen & I haven't put parsley in. Especially fresh parsley chopped and added to bread crumbs for homemade shake-n-bake.
I immediately think of tomatoes, pasta, pizza, all the typical italian type dishes. Oregano is a must!
Cut some dill, mix with oil and put on salmon steaks, then grill. YUM! Dill & fish always a good combination.
Even better if you're growing cucumbers and want to make your own pickles!
There's endless options for herbs these are just a few of my suggestions.
Next week I'll be sharing what I'm hoping to plant in our vegetable garden this year.
Today's Quote
Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones.
~John Burroughs