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!

40weekswithtext

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

40weekswithtextB

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!

38-5weekswithtextD

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
January 27, 2018

Had another fun picture session with Chris today! I’m thinking it could be my last pregnancy photo depending on when the little guy decides to go into action. Otherwise, I may squeeze in another one at 38.5 or 39 weeks! Gotta capture these moments; it’s not every day that you’re pregnant! I’m totally going to miss my bump but will probably love a flat stomach again, too.

baby bump

It was a cloudy, rainy day so lighting was not in our favour (I only use natural light) but honest to God, that new Canon L series lens I bought a few months back can conquer any lighting challenge (lens here). It is seriously a magical lens and is one of the best investments I’ve made in a while. I’m so happy with it!

baby bump

And here’s one with the hubster. These ones are always the most difficult shots because we use a tripod and a remote control. Framing is limited and there’s no one to direct your poses or give you feedback on how the photos are turning out / looking. But we manage to get a few we like each time, so that’s all that matters!

baby bump

I also just started to use Instagram stories; I know I’m a bit behind but better late than never! It’s really fun and kind of addicting — not sure if this is a good or bad thing (lol). Anyways, would love for you to join me on Instagram if you haven’t already @charleneprecious. :)

My legs are MUCH better than they were a week and a half ago. I can walk my normal pace again albeit still with a waddle :). Lying down is still uncomfortable and is when I feel the pain in my pelvis and groins the most but nothing unmanageable. Sleeping overall is on point other than needing to wake up every 2 hours to empty my bladder — it makes for a very choppy sleep but I have no trouble actually sleeping, which is really nice.

That’s all for today! xo

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 5:11 pm
January 21, 2018

I was hoping to put in some time this evening to get a head start on work tomorrow but I’m completely beat from spending a couple of hours grocery shopping this morning! I even took a nap already but still feeling groggy. At least I got my walking in. Apparently walking is the best exercise at this stage of the game!

Anyhow, I’m spending the time in my happy place instead — here! New tropical print, brought to you all the way from Jamaica :).

palm trees, beach art, beach photography

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 5:32 pm

Alright, I’m ready to share another part of this magical room, yay! :) This is the other side of the nursery. I really don’t know which side of the room I like better – they both make me very giddy! It’s really my new zen place (perhaps until the chaos of a newborn comes).

nursery room decor, baby nursery decor, baby nursery, nursery decor

So let’s chat quickly about the different pieces here.

DECOR TIPS:

1. Rocking Chair: What I love about this rocking chair is that it has the traditional arched legs vs the modern “gliders”. Not only that, the legs are made of wood, which added a nice touch and fit nicely in the room. We really wanted a traditional wooden rocking chair but the comfort is just lacking compared to modern rocking chairs, so it was awesome to find a middle ground between traditional legs and modern comfort. This piece is from Pottery Barn Kids and it’s called the Charleston Convertible Rocker.

2. Dresser: This super white dresser is the Jonesport Double Dresser from good ol’ Toys R Us. It looks fantastic and very reasonably priced. If you haven’t already noticed, I don’t love deliberately matching furniture pieces and tend to steer away from “sets”. In fact, I purposely make sure things don’t match but rather complement each other! That’s the real trick and changes the game!

3. Rustic Ladder: Boy is it ever tough to find a good looking ladder! After a few failed tries, we found one at a local store called Hearth Manor Fireplaces. This ladder was tucked away in a dusty corner and we happened to spot it. It wasn’t cheap but it had quite the beautiful rustic finish, so we took the plunge. We had to cut it down ourselves because it was a 12-foot ladder and we only have an 8-foot ceiling in this house! Other than that, I absolutely love it. Ladders are fantastic decor pieces and never fails to add character to a room :). Once the baby is able to walk/climb stuff, we’ll have to relocate this to another place in the house but ’til then, it can stay :).

4. Wall Shelves: Got these at VdeV downtown. They’re the 48 x 9″ pine shelves with small Demi Lune brackets. These shelves are super HEAVY DUTY. They weigh a ton and they are gorgeous with a finish that matched the ladder almost perfectly. The vision for the nursery was always whites and greys with rustic wood accents to add some boyishness to the overall baby softness, so these pieces delivered nicely on the “harder” accents!

5. Crochet Pouf Ottoman: Instead of spending a fortune on a matching ottoman for our rocking chair (and also because I really hate matching furniture pieces :P), we got a pouf instead. This one’s from an Etsy Shop, Looping Home. The artisan is based in Portugal and makes all sorts of beautiful custom poufs in various colours, shapes, and sizes! It’s not the cheapest (but still cheaper than a real ottoman) because nothing is cheap on Etsy but a) I love supporting artists and b) being able to customize items, so I continue to be a huge fan of this marketplace!

6. Teddy Bear Faux Taxidermy: Also bought this super cute faux taxidermy at an Etsy Shop, Heidi and Finn Studio. They’re local in Georgetown, which made me want to support them even more. They make all sorts of super cute faux taxidermies but given the colour scheme of the room, the brown bear was the right one to go with :). Real taxidermies can be a bit creepy but plush ones are simply cute as buttons. Notice his little crown as well! So adorable. Turnaround time was also impeccable with this shop; the bear came within 2 days of me ordering!

7. Changing Basket: This might honestly be one of the most impractical things I’ve purchased for the room but am still kind of proud of it! I say it’s impractical because it’s not overly big and I’m pretty sure my little guy will outgrow it in no time. Having said that, it is just the prettiest and most unique change pad. I find the traditional ones a bit of an eye sore and couldn’t get myself to buy them, so I went with this Reva Oval Changing Basket from Olli Ella. :) I also just love the finishing touch that wicker pieces bring to a room!

8. Blanket: The blanket thrown over the rocking chair is from Indigo called the Cabin Cozy Sherpa Blanket. It’s so soft and cuddly, I adore it! Rocking chairs and couches always need some sort of a throw for a finishing touch, otherwise they look bare and incomplete :).

9. Teddy: The little teddy bear on the rocking chair is actually just an old Build-A-Bear that I gave Chris as a present many years ago. Now it’s being passed down to the little guy. :)

10. Floor Lamp: Because our ceiling light fixture is dim in nature (we didn’t want an overly startling bright light), we decided to get a secondary floor lamp in case we needed the room to be brighter for any reason. This spot light is the RANARP floor/reading lamp from IKEA. Super cheap and looks awesome.

11. White linen drapes, rug, and ceiling light fixture were covered off in my first baby nursery post here.


Charleston Convertible Rocker, Linen Blend Grey – Pottery Barn Kids
Jonesport White Double Dresser – Toys R Us
Vintage Rustic Wooden Ladder – Hearth Manor Fireplaces
Pine Wall Shelves, 48 x 9″, Walnut – VdeV
Small Demi Lune Brackets (for wall shelves) – VdeV
Stuffed Crochet Pouf, Grey – Looping Home
Teddy Bear Faux Taxidermy – Heidi and Finn Studio
Cabin Cozy Sherpa Blanket, Buffalo Check, Grey – Indigo Baby
Reva Oval Changing Basket – Olli Ella
RANARP Floor Lamp, White – IKEA
Little Teddy – Build-A-Bear Workshop

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 11:13 am
January 19, 2018

I’d love to start by venting about how my body is feeling at 36 weeks and 2 days. Everything hurts :(. But it might have been completely all my fault. Just before I hit 36 weeks, I was feeling like a million bucks. Minor aches and pains but nothing debilitating or disruptive to my overall mobility. My energy levels were fantastic and I felt beautiful!

But then of course I injured myself by reaching for something on the top shelf of my kitchen cupboards and overstretched a little too much. I heard a crackle, crackle, and when I landed back on my feet, I was in huge pain. My groins were throbbing and it radiated to my pelvis, which now feels like it’s carrying a bowling ball that’s trying to break out of my body.

Since then, I have not been able to walk normally and have been in a full and extremely slow waddle and hobble the past 3 days. Not to mention changing positions while sleeping at night is a near impossibility. I’ve never had to be so thoughtful about how I changed sleeping positions; it has become quite the strategic task.

The doctor checked me out and everything is fine and not dangerous. I’m simply stuck with this until the end. Essentially, my body was already preparing itself for birth, releasing the hormone relaxin to start loosening up the ligaments around my pelvis and by over-stretching myself, I exaggerated the loosening of those ligaments, driving my pain and discomfort up from a dull 4/10 to a painful 10/10. Sigh. I wish I could turn back time and be more careful. I wonder if I would’ve eventually gotten here and I’ve just accelerated it or if I could’ve completely avoided it by not injuring myself. Guess we’ll never know!! We’re here now! It hasn’t been fun hobbling around at a turtle’s pace and because it’s so stressful to walk, I’ve been extra tired by the end of the work day.

Having said that, I’m still loving being pregnant and having my little buddy with me everywhere I go. So I’m happy to grin and bear this until he comes and am in no rush for him to come out. Stay in there, little guy!

Now onto the fun stuff. General Mills threw me the most lovely surprise baby shower last week. It was a flawlessly executed surprise. I was completely shocked and overwhelmed. The company takes surprises very, very seriously and the decoy plans to execute a stellar surprise are just so good, it requires some serious acting talent.

They put together quite a gorgeous setup that took my breath away. Impeccable and Pinterest-worthy. Some very kind and thoughtful words were said, which really warmed my heart. Cakes and treats were no stranger to the shower and they were both picture perfect and so delicious. We also played a good ol’ game where you match baby pictures to adult pictures and it’s always a hilarious time. The team presented me with a collection of beautiful nursery books that are going to fit perfectly in this little peanut’s bookcase and ever-growing library. They also got me a gift card to Pottery Barn Kids and although one more shopping trip to that store would make Chris absolutely delirious, it would make me very happy :). Last and certainly not least, they brought in Chris himself (who brought a bouquet of stunning flowers), my favourite person in the world, which was the cherry on top. I so loved that he got to meet all the wonderful and brilliant people I have the privilege of working with every day. I am so proud to call General Mills my workplace and second home. This place truly has a rare and outstanding gem of a culture that conquers and surpasses all obstacles we face as a team and I hope to never take it for granted. I will miss working while on maternity leave, but I know I’ll also be head over heels about motherhood :). I’m planning to work until 38 weeks, which takes me to January 31st. It’ll be a weird day!

I’ll end this long post with this one of a kind Cheerios onesie because every first time mom at General Mills earns one of these and they’re just too cute for words! xoxo

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Posted By Charlene Precious @ 6:41 pm
January 14, 2018

Enjoy the flight. Quick post tonight with a new aviation print from the Buffalo Air Show a couple of years ago. I love running through the archives for old pictures I can bring to life. :)

airplane, aviation photography

Bought myself a pair of grippy winter boots so I’m not slippin’ and slidin’ out there whilst pregnant. :) Ate at a DELICIOUS restaurant last night, Door FiftyFive at Port Credit, and had fried chicken and waffles for the first time. Oh my gosh are they to die for. A true guilty pleasure.

Also, we’ve just thrown a bunch of our newborn clothes in the wash and dryer and they’ve shrunken and become smaller than they already are… I hope they still fit the little bean. They’re teeny tiny!

I’m exactly 4 weeks away from my due date — ah, nervous and excited. Back again soon.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 8:17 pm
January 1, 2018

2018’s little bundle of joy here :). Photo credit to Chris! He’s getting really good with the camera; he just needs a tiny bit of help with framing and he’s off to the races ;). Framing is KEY.

34 weeks. baby bump, pregnancy

The baby was sitting quite low last week and it was killing my pelvis and bladder but he floated back up this week and what a difference it makes!! It’s nice when you don’t have to waddle when you walk; I’m trying really hard not to :P but it really is just more comfortable to waddle around like a penguin most days.

baby bump

A little bit sad that I’ve only got one more day left from the holiday break, that is tomorrow, and I’m choosing to use the day to catch up on work so I don’t go back to the office on Wednesday with a mushy brain. Oh well! Back to reality :). I’ve had an extremely fun yet restful holiday and truly, it’s time to get back to grinding for the next few weeks. January is going to be absolutely insane but I’m gearing up for it!

Wishing you all a great week back at work! xo

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 5:36 pm
December 30, 2017

2017 flew by faster than most other years. Not sure if it’s because I’m getting older or if the year really just disappeared in a blink. I am so grateful for everything that happened. It was a year filled with blessings from God. I don’t know what life would be without him – it’s a true gift to know him.

TOP 7 MILESTONES:

1. Getting pregnant with our baby boy
While I did not get to enjoy an ounce of summer this year being so ill in the first trimester, this has been the greatest gift yet. It is a true miracle to create life – I don’t know how to think of it any other way. It’s a beautiful and humbling experience.

2. Getting promoted at work
I love General Mills, I love the people I work with, and I love what I do. It was a goal of mine to be promoted within 2 years of working at this incredible company. It happened and I am overjoyed to be able to fully own my brands and businesses and lead a very special and talented team.

3. Getting our backyard and basement renovated
So we’re a bunch of renovation addicts here. We designed our backyard oasis in the Spring and our basement in the Fall. I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the backyard since I was pregnant and sick shortly after but I plan to practically live there next summer :). We renovated the basement in preparation for our baby boy, to create more living space in the house.

4. Designing my new happy place to perfection – the baby nursery
It’s my new favourite room in the house and it was a complete blast putting it together. Everything is just so cute. I love love love it. Being able to be in a pretty nursery should make all the bad days better :).

5. Chris getting baptized
I am so grateful to be able to build a family together under God’s unfailing love, grace, and protection. We’ve also made time for church about twice a month, which is a significant progress from zero times a month last year. #winning

6. Chris and I bonding and loving each other in a bigger and better way
Our love continues to grow and I continue to see this incredible man in a new and different light every day and I can only say that I love him deeper and greater as the days pass.

7. Chris smashing it in his first year at Salesforce
This man is GREAT at everything he sets his mind to and has had a fantastic first year in his new role at Salesforce. He is the hardest worker I know and I am so, so, so proud of him.

The saddest part of this year was that we didn’t get a chance to travel and I’ve made time to travel every single year for the past 8 years. The pregnancy just kind of came at us and our renovation projects kept expenses quite a bit higher than usual, so we had to pass on a trip this year. It would have been a trip to Norway though! We’ll take a raincheck for 2018!

Overall an incredible year that we can only be thankful for. I wish you all a fantastic 2018! Make it a great one! xoxo

(In the mean time, a new print for all the surfers out there!)

calif

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 7:24 pm