It’s been while since I’ve shared another piece of the nursery so here it is, the bookcase area :)! If you haven’t caught the nursery series so far, you can take a peek here and here.

The styling of the bookcase has actually evolved a little bit more since this photo was taken but time is a scarcity these days so I wasn’t able to take a more updated photo. This will have to do!

I LOVE bookcases and this one was so much fun to dress up only because it was different from the rest of the bookcases we’ve decorated and filled up around the house. It’s the only one that can be styled for a baby and that occasion doesn’t come around every day!

nursery decor, baby room ideas, baby room decor


Just 3 that I want to quickly share (before baby wakes up ;)).

1. Less is more & mind the space: Don’t overload the bookcase with things. Think of it as a wonderful storage unit but one that has to look good since it’s out for the world to see. Be mindful of space between items to create clean lines – don’t overload and err on the side of ‘less is more’. I could stockpile a lot more books than what’s in the bookcase but that’d look terrible :P. And when filling up a bookcase, don’t limit yourself to just literally books! Always complement with pretty boxes, baskets, bins, which fill the space substantially but in a neat, non-cluttered, minimalistic way; they just so happen to also work great for extra storage.

2. Decide on a tone, mood, colour scheme: You would generally want to think about an overall tone for your bookcase. Soft? Vibrant? Dark? Girly? Boyish? In our case, I wanted a soft and calm, earthy-tone bookcase, mixing colours like whites, greys, baby blues, and pastel browns together. Having this in mind will guide your shopping list and how you put everything together from your accent items to your actual books.

3. Play with book layout: The traditional way to place books in a bookcase is in the vertical upright position. But to add appeal, place some of your books horizontally/flat and then stack them on top of each other. Be mindful of the books’ spines – try to put books together with spine designs/colours that go hand in hand with each other. Might I just add that Value Village has $1.00 pre-loved nursery books that are in fantastic condition??? We picked up a whole bunch and then sanitized them. Dollars very well spent!

That’ll be all for this bookcase. It’ll be a few more weeks before we take some of these books and start reading to our little guy. For now, I’ll enjoy its completely untouched state while it lasts :).

Cameron 4-Shelf Bookcase – Pottery Barn Kids
FuddleWuddle Elephant – Indigo Kids
FuddleWuddle Lamb – Indigo Kids
Bashful Honey Bear (exact bear no longer avail.)- Indigo Kids
Books – Value Village & Indigo Kids
Darice Paper Mache Round Box Set – Michaels Arts & Crafts
Blue Wooden Crate (exact crate no longer avail.) – Michaels Arts & Crafts
Globe Bookend – Homesense
White Smarassel Box – IKEA
White Toddler Chair – Homesense

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 7:51 pm

This handsome boy is 3 weeks old today! There’s never a dull moment. With each passing week, you think you have it roughly figured out but then it changes with the blink of an eye and you’re like wha?? Back to the drawing board. Way to keep us on our toes, little buddy!

Colton Hoodie 5

Breastfeeding was fantastic the first 2 weeks until this guy started to seriously fall asleep while feeding. And I’m talking total deep slumber knock-out where it’s nearly impossible to wake him up to re-latch and even if he did manage to re-latch, he’s out like a light again within minutes. Feeding became inefficient (and inefficiency = nightmare) and I started to worry about whether he was eating enough, especially because he only gained a wee little ounce this week (50th percentile though). So we’re experimenting a bit in week 4. We’re going to pump breast milk into bottles and then feed out of bottles so that we have visibility to the amount consumed in every feeding, at least until his weight gain stabilizes. That little bit of blindspot’s got me all twisted all of a sudden :P. Then it’s also probably easier for him to fall asleep while breastfeeding than bottle-feeding so I suspect that we should re-gain efficiency and feed more productively. That’s our hypothesis anyway. We’ll go from there since this is all trial and error. :)

Also, *clogged milk ducts* — what a pain in the butt! I was clueless about such a thing until it reared its ugly head in week 3. No one talks about these things, so they’re just fun little surprise lemons that you come across as you go about this journey (lol). Anyway, the basic cure? Heat compress and relentless massaging as the first line of defence. Annoying and an added task to an already very fat list but it looks to be a necessary evil, so we’ll welcome it with open arms. :P

I realize there’s an overload of baby talk nowadays but it’s probably how it’s going to be for the next while. New photography is still central to all of this though so there will be lots to come and that well shall never run dry. It’s just that this blog is quite literally a journal and has captured every stage of life since 2009 – wow, reflecting back now, it’s pretty incredible and a total trip to read old posts. It has been an outlet for many years and I can’t imagine being without it.

New print below inspired by a couple of my favourite Beatles songs: Blackbird and Free As A Bird :).


I did also want to celebrate a couple of things:
1. We reached 23,000+ followers on Instagram as of yesterday! Big hugs to you all. So exciting.
2. Year to date sales are up 56% over last year. I am SO grateful. There’s still nothing quite as thrilling as receiving a new order. The 1,200th order is just as exciting as the 1st order ever received. :)

Squeezing in a power nap! xo.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 2:57 pm

Day 17, almost 3 weeks postpartum and more in love every day with our little guy. There are so many tiny precious and fleeting moments, I wish I could capture them all but it’s pretty much impossible unless I had my DSLR on me 24/7. And while it’s nice to use our phone cameras for convenience, it kills me a little every time we mindlessly capture truly great moments with these devices. It’s just not the same! But better captured somewhere than not at all. And better to have lived that moment than not at all. :)

Here’s one from several days ago at 10 days old, laying in his pretty changing basket. Look at those sweet cheeks!

mamahood, baby boy, colton stefanazzi

And here’s another one, also from several days ago, where we caught his little sweet smile while sleeping. My heart is melting all the time. It has never been a favourite pastime of mine to watch someone sleep until this guy came along.


And here’s another one with baby Colton sleeping on dad. He loves sleeping on dad because a) dad offers a much larger surface area and b) dad’s a furnace and nothing beats the warmth.


This post would not be complete without a quick recollection of our passport photo experience. We went and got Colton’s passport photo taken a few days ago so we can get his passport going in time for Hawaii. Little did I know it would be such a stressful event for the babe. It took an hour to get a single photo taken and the poor guy was not impressed. The requirements for an infant passport photo is just off the charts and whoever wrote them must have never been around babies and certainly got a little carried away in the boardroom. I’m so glad that’s done :P.

Overall, the boy is sleeping very well, generally 3-4 hour stretches depending on the time of day. Counting our blessings yet again. He still has those witching hours, back to the 5pm-2am window, but I’m getting used to it and always finding new ways to soothe so all is dandy. Chris will be slowly easing back to work next week and then all hands back on deck the following week. The next challenge for me is going to be caring for our boy solo during the day and the late nights so that Chris gets his sleep and feels good for work the next day. We are considering a night nurse but the plan is to test out my capacity first before doing so. At most, we’ll bring in a night nurse twice a week so I can catch up on snooze time. :) Either way, we will figure it all out. Embracing every stage of this magical journey.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 1:39 pm
March 7, 2018

New print of Monument Valley in Navajo Tribal Park, Utah. Feels like the movies even when you’re there in the flesh. Those majestic rock formations are just incredible. I’m really, really itching to travel especially because we didn’t get to go anywhere in 2017. Hawaii is the closest thing in sight at the end of May and it can’t come soon enough.

monument valley art, monument valley photography

Someone once told me when you become a mama, you become a master multitasker and an efficiency queen. And that you do. You can never be too efficient especially with increasingly busy lives. I’m blogging and editing photos with baby in arms right now since he is relentlessly fighting sleep. I think you start off exclusively focused on a single given baby-related task at a time when everything is so brand new, but once you get into your groove, it starts to feel like multitasking becomes not only second nature but a must. You only have so many “free” hours in the day between feeding, soothing, pumping, changing diapers, napping, eating, and tidying up (clutter drives me bananas). So combining other activities with these main events is much needed, for me anyways, otherwise, there’s a good chance this super strict routine could drive me a little mad (while still strangely loving every second of it of course) :).

Quick note that I think Colton’s witching hours are changing from sometime between 5pm-2am to 11am-4pm over the last couple of days. He is just full of surprises! Adapting seems to be the name of the game. :P

Fun piece of news: the print below is one of my personal favourites and I’m so excited for its greeting card (birthday occasion) licensing opportunity coming up for the summer! We’ve just signed and sorted all paperwork as of yesterday. It’ll be our first foray into stationery, which we’ve wanted to explore for a while, so I’m super stoked about this. I’ll loop back with the actual greeting card once it’s ready!

Signing off for a bit! xo

carnival art print, flying swing art, carnival photography

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 1:19 pm
March 3, 2018

8 days postpartum with my little peaches and cream! My body is bouncing back and I’m starting to feel really good again!

I’ve been treated like royalty by my family since giving birth. In Chinese culture, there’s something called the postnatal confinement, which is a custom practised to help mothers recover from birth, typically for about 30-45 days. The confinement (or mine anyway – they’re all a little bit different) consists mostly of a very special diet that is intended to restore strength to the body. There are a few other (questionable) components like refraining from going outside, washing your hair – things that are harder for me to buy into and are pretty much impossible to explain without sounding crazy.

I have no idea if any of it works but all the women on my side of the family swear by this ancient tradition. I figured it wouldn’t hurt, so I complied. But let me tell you, I do feel strong and energized. Sooner than I expected. In fact, I expected to be a total disaster for a few weeks and it has been a pleasant surprise to feel quite the opposite. Recovery was toughest for the first 4 days with days 2-4 being the worst. My body literally felt broken – everything ached like hell. But by day 8, I was feeling a solid 8/10. Delicious and nutritious breakfasts, lunches and dinners are made for me every single day, which takes a massive load off while tending to a newborn. Why wouldn’t I do this? :)

post partum photo

In terms of the little guy, he is wonderful and such a treat for most of the day and then he has his witching hours like most newborns sometime between 5pm and 2am, where he would cry and be fussy for 2-4 hours at a time. But I know this phase will come and go with the blink of an eye so I am embracing all of it completely. He is just so cute and little and helpless, it’s so hard to get frustrated even if you’re exhausted and just want to catch some shuteye. What’s great is that after he gets over the witching hours, he does sleep for a long stretch because he tires himself out :P. So that ends up being a reward for us.

It has also been so nice to have Chris at home with me. It has been a game changer to share all the responsibilities and to strengthen our partnership in this new chapter. It has also allowed us to have time to ourselves. It’s going to be another adjustment when he goes back to work :( and I will certainly miss him at home!!

Breastfeeding has taken off without a hitch. I was expecting it to be hard and painful and frustrating, much like what I’ve read all over the internet when I was gearing up for postpartum. Turns out I got lucky and it was relatively effortless for me to get into it. I am so, so, so grateful. I’ve also opted to pump so that hubby can not only help with feeding but bond with the little guy.

Here’s hubs and his baby boy. Looks more like his child than mine (lol). Truly peaches and cream, these two. Love you both to pieces.

8 Days Post Partum w Text Daddy

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 11:00 am
March 2, 2018

Here’s a new print: Los Angeles cityscape with its beautiful skyline in the background, faded by the good ol’ LA smog! Love LA but love Toronto more. :) Baby Colton is sleeping well today, so hubby and I have managed to squeeze in some TV time, yay! Been watching Shameless – took a while to get into it but now I’m hooked.

los angeles photography, LA photography, LA skyline, Los Angeles skyline, city of angels

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 6:51 pm
February 27, 2018

Our gift from God, Colton Charles Stefanazzi was born on Feb. 23, 2018, at 4:37am. He is 8 lbs 2 oz, 21 inches long, and slightly overcooked at 41 weeks! He is already too long for my arms and will be taller than me next month (lol). He is perfect in every single way.

Our hearts are exploding uncontrollably with happiness. We are laughing, we are crying, we are dreaming up the future, we are worrying, we are excited, we are scared, and most of all, we love him so much, it hurts. It has been the most incredible journey and we are so grateful to be entering this beautiful next chapter of life.

Oh and did I mention that there is nothing sexier than seeing your already remarkable husband transitioning to an amazing father?????? Oh my.

Colton at 3 days old:
Colton With Text v3

Now for the very special story and miracle behind Colton’s birth. The little guy actually entered the world with a bit of a bang. When he was born, his lungs weren’t firing at a hundred precent because he had mucus stuck in his throat. My water had spontaneously broken on Thursday, Feb. 22nd at 3:00AM and I delivered on Friday, Feb. 23rd at 4:37AM. Somewhere in that time, he had swallowed the mucus plug. And while this had no effect on him in the utero, it was a problem when entering the real world where he needed to breathe through his lungs. The mucus was blocking his airways and his lungs could not fully fire.

I don’t recall a more terrifying moment in my life. “Code Pink” was announced, which in this hospital meant Infant Cardiac Arrest. Within a matter of seconds, there were about 25 nurses, doctors, specialists in our delivery room all simultaneously working on him. I was exhausted from the delivery as I had been pushing for 1.5 hours and was pretty much in delirium at that point. Chris and I held each other’s hands tight, waiting… waiting… and waiting, not knowing what was going on or what was going to happen. It was truly terrifying and I prayed and prayed and prayed, knowing deep in my heart that my God has never and would never fail me.

After a few minutes, which really felt like an eternity at the time, we heard Colton’s first beautiful cry – the sound that instantly lightened my very heavy heart. This meant that his airways had started to clear and he was now starting to breathe properly.

The next 72 hours were spent in the Special Care Nursery for lots of tests and monitoring to make sure he wasn’t hurt in any way by this event. The little fighter passed every test with flying colours, rebounded like nothing happened, and was thriving. Not only that, the Special Care Nursery was the biggest blessing in disguise. It was like we were in a free baby care training class for 3 full days. We had INCREDIBLE nurses and resources at our fingertips for questions, tips, tricks and live everyday support on how to care for a newborn. By the time we came home from the hospital, which was Monday, Feb. 26th, we had ALL of our ducks in a row. It was the most seamless, effortless transition that would not have been the case had we been sent home the next day with a standard delivery. We had a solid routine locked and loaded and knew about everything we previously did not know. It was a very special 72 hours and we are counting our blessings.

What a ride is has been and it has only been 5 little days. I cannot wait for our journey with this very precious gift. He has my whole heart and then some. I know it’s not all going to be rosey. I know there will be really hard days. I know I’m going to spend the rest of my life worrying about every little thing. But this is motherhood and there is no greater privilege.

May the Lord be with you always, my little one.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 3:53 pm
February 14, 2018

Ahhh, I could’ve sworn this little peanut was going to come early. It really felt like it with the way my body was going. Not to mention every Tom, Dick, and Harry thought I was ready to pop since 37 weeks. But here I am, 40 weeks pregnant and still no baby. What a true test of patience, which I don’t normally have a lot of to begin with (lol)! Tough guy decided he didn’t want to be a Valentine’s baby and share his birthday with every woman in the world… I get it. But where are ya, little buddy? We’re waiting for you and can’t wait for you to arrive!


In all seriousness, for most of the third trimester, I was probably more nervous than I was excited about reaching the end. And this waiting game was almost an essential part of the process, for me anyways, to get me to cross over from nervous to excited / gung ho about go time because that’s ALL that I feel now. I’ve never been more excited to feel pain (I’m going to regret saying that, aren’t I?)

I really didn’t think I’d have a chance to get another bump picture in but I guess I do! You can never have too many pictures to look back to down the road :). Anyways, happy Valentine’s day from both of us! Hoping the next time I blog, it’s with a baby in my arms. :) xo


Posted By Charlene Precious @ 3:34 pm
February 8, 2018

I’m 39 weeks and 1 day today! Went to my appointment and not a lot happening yet. This journey is so fascinatingly unpredictable. You really don’t know what’s going to happen. The entire thing is perpetually up in the air and if you are someone who takes comfort in control, this is a tough pill to swallow! (*Ahem*, me!)

I’m enjoying my time off though and taking full advantage of all the rest that I can get right before my world is turned upside down. I’ve noticed my energy levels are down and I’m very tired again. Luckily, my nesting urge has completely subsided since I’ve been nesting pretty much the entire pregnancy up until about 37 weeks. Everything is done and there is nothing left to do but rest and wait for the big day! It’s exactly what I wanted and needed so I can get my mind and body set for what’s to come.

I did end up doing some upgrades on my Macbooks and cleaned them out so they run like new again :). That felt productive! I’ve also made a ton of updates to the website and my Instagram account to get up to speed with current trends. I really wanted to run a Valentine’s Day promotion but it was too risky with an imminent newborn, so I had to pull back :(. I’ve also been walking around the house every day to get some activity in. It’s just too cold and slippery outside otherwise. I’ve also started to drink Raspberry Leaf Tea and have jumped on board with many other natural labour-inducing remedies just in case one of them works. ;) Lots of old wives’ tales but it doesn’t hurt, I guess!

New print below – a bit of summer to get through the winter.

palm tree photography

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 6:13 pm
February 4, 2018

I officially went on maternity leave as of Thursday, February 1st. :) Not sure I’ve quite adjusted to the thought of not working for the next 12 months. At the same time, I’m so pumped to refocus again on Charlene Precious Co., at least when the dust starts to settle a bit with a newborn in our lives! It’ll feel like my MBA years when I had time to build up the business except the MBA work is presumably a piece of cake compared to a newborn :P.

Here’s another bump picture! I’m really cherishing these last few preggo moments since I’m likely going to miss this belly and having a buddy everywhere I go. I’m just about ready for baby blue to come though! Don’t get too chubby in there, bud. It’s a bit crazy in these final days because you start to over-think and over-analyze every little “sign” of labour, especially because it’s my first pregnancy. I guess soon enough we’ll see what game day really looks like!


Chris’ fiscal year just ended on February 1st as well and he had an absolutely incredible year so the past 3 days have been one long celebration. We both went for a nice manicure/pedicure, a 90 minute massage, and dinner at the Keg. I also got my hair cut and coloured, which felt FANTASTIC. I waited 9 months to do this because I wasn’t sure about all the chemicals but now that babe is fully cooked, I felt better about it and decided to get pampered knowing I won’t have much time to myself for a while. Gotta take care of those overgrown roots!

So because Chris finished his year with a bang, he actually earned himself a free trip to Hawaii at the end of May and he gets to bring me along, which means….. the baby is coming with us??? What an exciting thought. Gotta get clearance from the doctor first before I get too caught up in the idea though! More to come on this.

New print below, taken in Ocho Rios, Jamaica! Perhaps this will be somewhat similar to my view in May?? ;) I’m hopeful and keeping my fingers crossed. xo.

ocho rios photography, jamaica photography

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 3:02 pm