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Leo’s First Christmas

Leo’s first Christmas wasn’t ANYTHING that I had expected. However … I quickly realized that sometimes the best moments are those you don’t intentionally plan for …

Christmas has always been a huge part of my families life … every single year we have a specific tradition that we follow religiously. This tradition involves being at home with our ENTIRE family and that was EXACTLY the plan I had in mind for Leo’s very first Christmas … I had the vision of being cozied up in our Kelowna home for the last year with a real tree that was beautifully decorated … all of the grandparents … and stockings hung by the fireplace …

*** This blog has been edited from its original post. ***leo-santa-baby-bliss-photography-15-1

Welllll … about a month before Christmas Justin’s family decided that instead of being in Kelowna as planned, they wanted to spend Christmas with Justin’s Grandma in Vancouver which they haven’t done in a few years … at that moment we knew we had to find a way to make it all work … and we TOTALLY respected that … it just meant that my perfectly envisioned Christmas would need a few TWEAKS …

After going back and forth on a few different ideas, we decided that we would have an early Christmas with MY Mom and Dad on the 22nd and 23rd. I was SO worried it wouldn’t feel like Christmas, but Justin was such a sweetheart and we got RIGHT into it! I made a big Christmas dinner on the 22nd (not vegan because Dad REALLY wanted a turkey, so I picked up a small free range chicken from Natures Fare and cooked that with vegan side dishes). After dinner, the 6 of us (Justin, Me, Leo, Mom, Dad and Nacho) cozied up and watched movies.  Then on the 23rd, my parents came over and we opened our stockings and the one gift that we decided to stick to this year! It TRULY felt like Christmas morning!!  We took our time, lounged, had breakfast, coffee, and chilled out until 5PM … and then just had left overs. We literally stayed in our pj’s all day and had the most amazing quiet time with our small little family!!

Justin and I didn’t do gifts this year because we had SUCH an amazing year with the new baby, new house… and little did I know I was getting a ring a few days later (more of that to come!!). We sponsored 2 families instead, but also DID get 2 beautiful picture books made up for the grandparents, documenting Leo’s first 5 months, pictures of his birth, bringing him home, his baptism and his first trip to Hawaii!! It was SO well received!

On the 24th, woke up early, packed up the family with hot coffee and we drove to Vancouver (on the 28th we drove from Vancouver to the Cariboo so we spent a total of about 22 hours in the vehicle in the course of 7 days but it was AMAZING). Leo was a CHAMP on the road and we loved our time together as a family! We spent Christmas Day and Eve and BOXING day over at grammies (Justin’s grandma), had some great laughs and good meals. We slept in almost every morning, ordered room service and just totally chilled. Every night after grammies, we would get together in our room and have a few night caps and laughed till we cried.


Just a quick side note as most of you know, we have an apartment in Vancouver and it would have been nice to spend the holidays in a familiar place but it was just WAY too small to host everyone. So we threw around a few different ideas like renting a house, looking at Air BNB’s, asking friends and families that we knew would be away, or the option to stay in a hotel!! I of course, wanted Leo’s first Christmas to be special and surrounded by his family, uncles, aunties and grandparents … and wanted us to ALL stay in the same place … so we looked into getting joining rooms at the Opus Hotel. Lucky for Nacho he even got a royalty treatment with their Pampered Pooch service!! … hell it was Christmas for him too!!!

photo-2016-12-27-2-31-18-pm jillian-harris-leos-first-christmasjillian-harris-leos-first-christmas-2

It was so nice staying in Yaletown and being walking distance to everything …. Starbucks, The Cross Decor & Design, and most importantly Justin’s grandma was just around the corner. Oh!!! AND!!! There was a #VanKiss Mistletoe RIGHT outside of La Pentola … this made the perfect photo op for our daily routine kiss (well … ONE of them anyways!!!!) … LOL!!!!


Speaking of La Pentola … this was our go-to spot every morning for breaky and mimosas!!!!! I was SO impressed with them as they were so accommodating … they never once hesitated to modify my breakfast so it was more plant based …


The whole family was so comfy and cozy even though we were staying in a hotel. They made it feel like home for us (the beds were also PHENOMENAL) and we even had a tree in our room!!! It really made me realize that Christmas is what you make of it … and not everything always has to be PERFECT all the time!! It was a breath of fresh air!!!

While it wasn’t the Christmas I had anticipated, it was BETTER than I could have ever expected. Leo’s first Christmas was a HUGE success … and the cherry on top for me you might ask??? JUSTIN PROPOSED!!!! LE SIGH!!!! I already know what you’re thinking … where are the engagement details?!?!?! Don’t worry … the engagement blog is coming soon!!!! I PROMISE!!!! …. Thank you so much to the Opus Hotel for hosting us this holiday season!!


*** Thank you for reading this post. When we originally posted this blog, the focus was more on the Opus hotel and less on Leo’s first Christmas. While we did work with the Opus team to receive a discount, there was no payment or formal contract. We are friends with the folks at Opus and we truly did have an EPIC time during our stay, but after reading some comments from our fans and followers, we couldn’t help but agree with them, that it felt like a sales pitch. This was never our intent, however, a result of a shaky start to the year, me not being as present in editing as I should be, moving too quick, rushing and not thinking clearly about what our readers REALLY want. We apologize for that and never want our readers to feel that they can’t trust us or are coming to the blog for a good heartfelt story, and getting only a hotel review. We also want our readers to know that we have and never will post about a product, service or company unless it is 100% authentic and genuine. We thank our posters for their support and even those for their criticism because both will ultimately push us to succeed here at ***





Thank you Opus Hotel for sponsoring this post. All comments and opinions are my own. 

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  1. It was my little Evan’s first Christmas. We were flying to Kamloops on the 23rd to spend it with my husband’s family and I had also planned a surprise 40th birthday party that night for him. It was a catered murder mystery dinner with a customized mystery, so it had to happen that night. As we are about to land our flight was diverted to Vancouver, this was Evan’s first flight and it had been going well. With the diversion i was worried all plans were going to fall apart and also about how Evan would manage with another flight or possibly a drive. I ended up spilling the beans but we got to Kamloops later that day in time for the party and Evan was a star on his second flight of the day. We had a great time at the party with the birthday boy solving the mystery and the rest of the holiday was spent relaxing while the grandparents doted on their first grandchild.

  2. That sounds amazing!! I’m from the east coast and moved to Alberta about 9 years ago. Ive always tried to spend Christmas with my family, it’s always been so important to me.

    I also became a mom last year, to a sweet little boy, Dax. I so wanted to spend Christmas back home with my family for him, myself and my BF. But it wasn’t doable. So we made our own little Christmas in our home!

    I told my BF the only thing that would be the cherry on top would of course be a ring ( no go haha ) or a make over from Jilly herself.
    I have him hooked on your love it or list it ??

    Can’t wait to hear about the engagement blog ?? happy new year to you and your sweets

    1. Congrats on your baby boy @daniellebungay:disqus … I’m sure you’ll be getting that ring soon!! ?

  3. I got married this summer and had my first Christmas as a wife, step-mom and dog-mom (at age 38, my marriage, too, was a long time a-comin’!!)!! This is technically our third Christmas together but our first as husband & wife and first living together and me being “mom”. And our pup was a new addition this fall so it was her first Christmas, period, and our first as an official family of four! We started our family Santa photo tradition last winter but this year it was fun to include Lola Bean (our pup), as well! She posed so perfectly and we have a new ornament with the photo on the tree! My husband and I also enjoyed a “Christmas-eve-eve” holidate, just the two of us, where we ordered sushi and popped a bottle of expensive bubbly that was a wedding gift – the perfect way to kick off the festivities and a tradition I intend to continue as the years go on!! This was also the first year my husband and step-son (and pup) were able to attend christmas with my extended family who live a few hours away from us. We drove down to my parents and spent a few nights there, which was amazing! Excited for the years to come!! All the best as you plan your own big day!! Congrats!!

    1. Oh my gosh … I LOVE the idea of a “Holidate”!!!!! There should really be MORE of those in life …. LOL!!!! XO

  4. It looks and sounds like your family had an awesome Christmas, even though it wasn’t your “normal”. Congrats on your engagement too! I got a surprise engagement this Christmas as well 🙂 I love Christmas, so it made it even more special! Can’t wait to read your Engagement blog!!

  5. We had our 1st Christmas with our 2 month babe! Normally we go stay at my in laws Christmas eve and watch our nieces open presents from Santa on Christmas morning. My husband has been doing that for the last 10 years, me the last 4 So it was quite a change for us. We “hosted” family dinner at our house and by hosted I mean provided appetizers and dessert, my dad cooked at home and brought the food over ? this mama doesn’t quite know her way around the kitchen. It was our way of starting our own tradition. It was great! ?

  6. It doesn’t matter where you spend Christmas, as long as you are surrounded by the ones you love! This year was the 1st Christmas that my husband and I spent at home in Kamloops instead of working away in an oil camp (we both cook for camps sometimes the same one and sometimes not) And it was the 1st Christmas with our 5 month old baby boy! Christmas Eve was spent at my husband’s parents with his sister from Kelowna and his other sister and nephew from Ontario. Then on Christmas day we had our own little Christmas with just us until my husband left for work at noon…booo! My side of the family live in NB and haven’t had a Christmas there since I lived there in 2008 ?

    1. You’re so right @disqus_D6FYYz8aQ4:disqus … it doesn’t matter where it’s spent as long as you’re with the ones you love!!!! Sooooo true!!! XO

  7. Those are great memories!!! Love the pictures, what a great souvenir! We also had a first Christmas in our family, it was our 4th baby’s first Christmas but also a first Christmas with all my family together at the same time. We split up for work over 10 years ago and my family ended up in 3 different provinces. We had children and our family got bigger and bigger. It has always been a challenge to get together and celebrate Christmas and have everyone present afterwards. This year, we did it! We were reunited, all my sibblings and all the nephews and nieces. Some of them were meeting for the first time. They got to play together and had a blast! It was great to be together all over again and share these beautiful memories!!! Happy new year! Congratulations ?

  8. What an adorable little family you have! Thanks for sharing <3.

    We have an 8 month and he is the first baby in our generation so it was a pretty amazing Christmas! We just spent the morning with our little guy opening gifts and soaking up his first christmas experience. He enjoyed some of the new toys he got AND also the wrapping and boxes haha. Then the rest of the day spent with all our family. It was simple but the best Christmas yet! Children make christmas that much more magical!

    Random question! What camera do you
    Use for these beautiful shots?

    Happy new year Jillian and happy wedding planning!

  9. Oh how I wish we could all stay at the Opis over Xmas as it’s soooo expensive!

    Oh wait – I’m guessing you got some sort of sponsorship deal you forgot to tell us about? Come on. Get real lady. Your posts come off as bragging about all the materialistic items you possess or score for free. Barf.

    1. Please don’t come to her site if you’re only going to bring negativity. Some of us enjoy reading her blogs and wouldn’t want her to quit because of some jerk like you. I think she’s down to earth and is very fortunate to have these experiences as I’m sure she knows that. Bye now.

      1. Please don’t come to her site and comment on others people’s opinions they have every right to have. Bye now.

      2. I don’t really think it’s inappropriate for people to comment and criticize a public blog post. In this case, it seems like Unsubscribed from the fake is maybe calling out what looks like hypocrisy between posts like this and posts that talk about resolutions to live with less, or caring about people who are less well-off. And I couldn’t help but notice that old “vegan-ish” comment…next to the plate of salmon and eggs. Is it possible to be critical without being mean and negative? Of course. But readers have a right to their opinion. I’m a seriously intense follower of this blog and I love so much of what I read here, including a lot of the ads (I switched to shopping at Nature’s Fare because of Jillian’s posts!), but I think it’s worrisome how often the person who writes these blog posts “forgets” to mention that they are sponsored by one or more companies. It’s dishonest, and as far as I understand it in violation with the advertising standards in Canada.

        1. Agreed and well put. The people who attack others for having a different opinion are no better than the person they are criticizing. They are bullying the person for having an opinion which I personally can’t stand. If “Team Jilly” actually posted that comment attacking that poster, that is absolutely horrible. Team Jilly, if you’re reading this, STOP hating on those who have a different opinion about your blog/lifestyle/etc. Not everyone has to kiss your ass and PS, you are posting on a PUBLIC blog so if you can’t handle not everyone loving everything you post, say bye bye to the internet and social media.

          1. It’s called being nice to others and if you have nothing nice to say then shut the fuck up! BYE

          2. And are you being nice by that comment? Chill Justine (or Justin) whoever you actually are. Haha.

          3. Team Jo, the person who posted as “TEAM JILLY” Is not infact on our team. They are a fan. Thank you.

        2. Thank you Michelle. I / we always make note when a post is sponsored – In this case, This post was not sponsored by Opus hotel, however because they are friends of mine, I did receive a discount. We are working on making that even more clear for our readers. We NEVER want our readers to feel duped or that they can’t trust us! My choice to write about our stay was because of the wonderful time we had and i wanted to share that with my followers. If you have further feedback in how we could improve, please continue to let us know. I want my readers to feel that they can trust me and the content…

    2. Wow, grow up and don’t waste your time or everyone else . Why go out of this way to read the blond and then comment? You clearly hate your life, so go be sad alone bc we love her!!!

      Team Jilly

      1. Are you actually Team Jilly or posing as it? Your comment was mean and hateful and rude. Readers may not like everything you post, but that gives you ZERO right to bash them and be a mega bully. Seriously disappointing to see this. Have a good evening.

        1. Bully? Look up the definition bc clearly the first person was being rude and hurtful. Isn’t this a blog about Jilian? Which means you enjoy what she posts and does. So for people who want to comment negatively leave that shit at the door because you don’t go commenting about her work or life and then right barf at the end. Sorry that’s hurtful. Good night

    3. I am so sorry you feel this way. We didn’t mean for this post to come off as bragging at all. We did get a deal at the opus and we did mention that they hosted us in the blog. We do post a ton about products and services and will continue to be as transparent with our readers to ensure no one is feeling the way you are stating! I do have to say – i do not always post about materialistic things. I post about the things that make my heart go pitter patter, things that are important in my life, my life journey, my struggles, our team gives back to the community and various charities and we promote that as well. Anyway – we are sorry to see you go but take your criticism and will improve here! Jilly

  10. This was our little girl’s first Christmas (8 months) and the first Christmas our little guy (3 yrs) has been excited for! It was so great reading The Night Before Christmas together as a family, something I grew up doing every Christmas Eve with mine. Our Christmas day was spent at home in pajamas…it was glorious!

  11. We did have a first Christmas this year as well! Our little guy is 2 and a half months old and even though he wasn’t able to engage in opening the gifts Santa brought him, bake Santa cookies, or even understand what was going on we thoroughly enjoyed our first Christmas with him. It was special adding him to our Christmas traditions of spending time with our families eating Christmas dinner and hanging out. Of course, all the gatherings revolved around him and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. We’re looking forward to next year to start more traditions with him that he’ll better understand. How awesome will that be?! Same goes for you guys with little Leo!!! I bet y’all can’t wait. Hope you all can find a good balance this 2017 because I see how overwhelmed you are. It will all be worth it! You’ll have a new husband, a new home, and a great career. Go girl!

  12. We don’t have any crazy set-in-stone traditions but this year was going to be the year they started! My boyfriend and I just moved into our new home over Thanksgiving weekend and I was SO looking forward to hosting both of our families for Christmas. After sharing holidays for 8 years, I couldn’t wait to have a day at OUR house. Then… on the 19th I broke my tibia, fibula and my ankle playing hockey.

    My mom brought the turkey over on Christmas day and my family moved the table and ate dinner in my living room while I was on the couch. I’m not allowed to walk until at least February and it’s a total bummer but I’m so lucky to have had love around me during the holidays.
    There’s always someone, somewhere experiencing something worse. I am sore and going stir crazy but definitely grateful. We can both have our (second) first Christmas’ next year! xx

  13. Congrats Jill! That’s wonderful news and your photos are gorgeous.

    Can’t wait to hear about wedding planning also! I’m planning one too 🙂

  14. My fiancé and I bought our first home in the spring and so we had our first Christmas here. But we’re both nurses, and he had to work Christmas and I worked New Years so we couldn’t celebrate together unfortunately.
    BUT next year we will both be off… and it will be our first Christmas as a married couple 🙂

  15. I think it’s time someone reported you to the Advertising Standards Council of Canada. You post what one can only assume are sponsored posts and rarely if ever indictate this to your readers. Please adhere to the rules and law as it’s very deceiving the way you are posting lately.


    1. Why do you care? Obviously she gets a deal for posting about the hotel but as she says in her disclaimer she only posts about things she believes in. And non of it was bs. The Opus is as great as she says! Please take your negativity and leave this site.

        1. its actually not the ‘law’ there are standards and rules you are correct. Please read the above comments. We are on it and never want to break anyones trust! XO

      1. Hi Caz – actually Tyrese is right. The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards sets out the guidelines for advertising in Canada, and posts like these do violate those standards, as do most of Jillian’s instagram posts. Even blog posts that are personal like this need to identify the “material connection” between the author and the company or product that is being promoted. The code defines material connection here:

        “”Material connection” is defined as any connection between an entity providing a product or service and an endorser, reviewer, influencer or person making a representation that may affect the weight or credibility of the representation, and includes: benefits and incentives, such as monetary or other compensation, free products with or without any conditions attached, discounts, gifts, contest and sweepstakes entries, and any employment relationship, but excludes nominal consideration for the legal right to identify publicly the person making the representation.”

        So if Jillian got a discount for staying at Opus and eating at La Pentola, or received any kind of compensation from them, she is obligated to state it here, even if she is endorsing their products. There’s no reason to construe this as “negativity”. As I noted below, I love Jillian’s posts, including her sponsored posts. I have learned so much about great new products and retailers from her, and I think her marketing strategy is on point and to be respected. But it is accurate to say that posts like this are deceitful; they need to be clear about what the material connection is. And her instagram posts need to do the same and rarely – if ever – do.

        I think Jillian’s media team does a great job of balancing her more personal posts about her life with her sponsored posts – it’s why she is such a successful “influencer”. But whoever is in charge of writing these posts needs to exercise more vigilance. This is obviously not a criticism of Jillian unless you believe that a woman as busy as her – new mom, tv personality, wife-to-be, and obviously-committed family woman, and someone who spends an ungodly amount of time commuting! – actually sits behind her computer and writes every single one of these posts from scratch.

        So Team Jilly – please keep up the great work, but please please PLEASE make sure you are advertising ethically and honestly! Best way to support your brand!

        1. YES! THANK YOU! We are working really hard this year to ensure transparency and trust – We never want to feel like we are hiding anything! Thank you for your constructive and positive criticism! Keep it coming and we will work to improve! XO JILLY

          1. Girl, my lord. The fact that you edited your post literally brought tears to my eyes. I don’t even know why – I’m just so impressed that you listened – and heard through some of what was overly nasty criticism! – and edited the post?! Amazing. Truly. And you know what? The edited post still makes the Opus shine, but keeps the main focus on you and your family. I loved it all. xo

    2. Hi Tyrese! I did say in the Blog, thanking Opus for hosting us! However, my friends own the opus and i LOVE them and the property – and so my thoughts and opinions are my own. I travel a ton and therefore feel the need to write a good review when i have one! It does make me very sad when i hear somoene calling me deceiving. Do i make money from this blog YES, I have a team of amazing girls who love their job. We share our time and profits with charity, we spread good cheer and positivity. We also adhere to the rules. I have never once posted about a product, service, hotel, company that is unauthentic. I always make note when a post is sponsored. In this case, This post was not sponsored by Opus hotel, however because they are friends of mine, I did receive a discount. My choice to write about it was because of the wonderful time we had and i wanted to share that with my followers. If you have further feedback in how we could improve, please continue to let us know. I want my readers to feel that they can trust me and the content… so please keep the feedback coming! How could we have improved this post specifically?

      1. Thank you for clarifying for readers. No one likes to feel duped into reading something they think is a personal story (which a lot of people love) and after reading it wonder if it was an ad disguised in the story. It’s frustrating as a lot of bloggers are doing this lately, so thanks for taking the criticism and making the change. Could you clarify the house Reno blog as well? Did you receive any discounts etc in exchange for mentioning their names in your blog?

  16. Your Christmas looked beautiful! It was our little guys first Christmas so we had morning just the baby and hubs and myself. Then incorporated his family and mine.

    When you stayed at the hotel where did Leo sleep? We are traveling next month and I was wondering about this…

  17. thank you for your blogs! I’m not a blog reader but I love reading yours! Xo

    We spent the early morning as a new family. We have a 2.5 month old the celebrated his first Christmas as well! Then around 10ish we had my mom and sister over for breakfast and then drove down to my dads (40 mins away) and had dinner there. I still can’t get over how much stuff he got!

    Loved having new traditions as a new family xo

  18. I enjoyed this blog. I don’t see the bragging people are talking about. She’s public and inviting towards sharing her life, you don’t have to waste your time if it will only work you up and upset you. It’s sad to see the negativity that people pull into an otherwise happy story. And bashing another person’s bashing certainly doesn’t make someone “more” right. People are entitled to their opinions but does “criticizing” or introducing negative feelings really serve a valid purpose? There’s enough hate and negativity in this world. ✌?
    Happy New Year to your family, Jill!

    1. Thanks Vanessa! I couldn’t have said it any better. Maybe I shouldn’t have responded to that negative comment by Unsubscribed, but I don’t see what purpose negativity serves and why people are so critical of others. Have a good night!

    2. I think Jillian herself said that she appreciates feedback, even constructive. I don’t think she wants us to blindly agree with her – she expects her readers to be smart, able to think for themselves. As long as it’s done with respect there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with people or offering constructive feedback. Jillian is such a class act – she knows how to leverage that feedback to make her site, and its content, even better than it already is.

  19. Such a sweet post! Love that you had two Christmases with little Leo! It’s always a struggle, (even without kids!) to see both families!
    Ps these haters are so annoying, do you girl! Your such an inspiration!

  20. This is a beautiful Christmas Jillian! We had our first Christmas as well and it was great… the whole sleep thing was a bit challenging tho. Family traditions are the best, especially with a lil’ babe <3

  21. Thanks for sharing your life with us – your fans and interested readers Jillian. It is so appreciated! Congrats on your engagement and hope that you have a wonderful, healthy and happy new years!!

  22. Merry Christmas Jilian! I love reading and watching you and your family on snap/Instagram.

    Aside from the all the negativity and haters who claim they have a right to their own opinion, frankly they don’t. Your site isn’t something for people to comment on if they don’t like you or stuff you say. Clearly you were asking for positive feed back from everyone else first Christmas. If your comments don’t relate to what she ask then there’s no need. It’s 2017 so let’s start the new year right and go back to what our parents told us wayyyy back and simply do “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”


  23. Great post!!
    Might I suggest a two part post about the engagement? Would be great to hear both yours and Justin story of the engagement! That is something so precious and I feel like we also never get the chance to really see men talk about getting engaged!

    Whatever you decide to do, I’m looking forward to reading! Can’t wait!

    xo Ash

  24. Sounds like a great first Christmas with your fam! A little off topic here but I wanted to thank you for being so real in your insta story yesterday and shedding a few tears. Juggling work, a baby, family life and getting time for yourself is hard and I’m so happy you shared that with everyone. Made me feel better about juggling our 4 month old little guy and daughter who is almost 3. Some days are just perfect but others can feel like I’m barely staying a float.. So thank you!

    1. THANK YOU Steph!!! Thank you so much for following along on my journey with me … and agreed some days are much easier than others LOL!!! Us mommas need to stick together!! XOXOXO

  25. We are grandparents and I want my grandkids to always be in their own home on Christmas morning so that means my hubby and I travel half way across the country every holiday but so worth it my own kids were always at their grandparents on Christmas am and I promised myself that would not be the case for my grand kids! Ps I don’t let 6-8 weeks go by without traveling to see them plus face timing every weekend and Remy is 6 and I’ve never broken my promise to myself to see them as often as possible they are only young once!

    1. Awwww that’s amazing @disqus_4XQ6Qk4XnJ:disqus!!!! Love it!!! Happy New Year to you and your family!! XOXO

  26. I love that you and Justin sponsored families for Christmas. I work in a school in a very high poverty area in Memphis, TN and some of our families received sponsors. Watching the kids faces when they opened their Christmas gifts was truly heartwarming.

  27. Jill, don’t be too hard on yourself girl, we’re all doing the best we can and ultimately NO ONE should be judging ANYONE else.

    Remember…. self love ❤️ ?

    Sending lots of love and good vibes from the Kootenays xxx here’s to a bangin’ 2017 ?

  28. I had a baby boy named Leo on August 10th and read an article about you that said you had a little boy named Leo just a few days earlier. I’ve been following you on Instagram and reading your blog ever since and I love seeing what you have to say about motherhood. You have a beautiful family and keep it real. Congratulations on your engagement!

  29. It’s a shame that there are people who feel the need to bring negitivity; I hope you’re able to keep it all in perspective. I know I’d have such a hard time. I enjoy reading your blog, please don’t change who you are- Haters are always gonna hate. ❤

  30. I read your first blog which I thought was great too and was impressed with how accommodating the hotel was….a Christmas tree in your room that’s pretty sweet! I’m wondering if you have considered doing a subscription box which seems to be all of the rage right now?

  31. I love the fact that you took your readers’ concers and critiques into account so graciously. We love reading about your life, family, AND what products/places you recommend! Thanks for always being honest and open!

  32. Read the first post. Loved it. Read the second. Loved it too. People need to chill. This is your job as well as your passion. We look to your for ideas, inspiration and opinions. Love your (human) style just the way you are.

  33. I can appreciate your feelings on wanting to stick with your Christmas traditions. My first Christmas spent with my partner and his family was so difficult for me as it took me away from home- to a completely different country in fact. In the end, it was so nice to experience new traditions and Christmas felt just as special. Congratulations on your engagement! I love learning about the companies you trust and support as I feel you have great standards in terms of quality. Wishing you and yours all the best in 2017!

  34. Jill

    You are one of the most genuine authentic people I follow. That’s why I follow you! Your whole life in ever little detail doesn’t have to be judged or talked about! Your a new mom and with that comes so many challenges and emotions and your doing such a fantastic job!! I love all your live stories as well as your blog stories! Your adorable and honest always! Thanks for letting us all into your private moments! Don’t be so hard on yourself!


  35. Be who you are and say what you feel…because those who mind, don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind.
    Jillian, you wear your heart on your sleeve and while we don’t always get it right…. it is always done with the best of intentions. Enjoy your beautiful, stressful and amazing life because those that matter, love “you, for being you”. Hug that man and babe of yours and thank you for sharing your life and adventures.

  36. Aw, Jill. Even though I thought the original post was amazing,. After re-reading this blog, I love it so much more. I’m sorry you guys were getting not the best feedback, but I’m glad you took it for what it was to make your blog post a better one! Keep doing what you’re doing because I am so inspired by you and your little family. I love reading about and following your journey! Much love!! ?

  37. People – she rewrote the post not because she wanted to clarify, she rewrote it as her first one was in violation of the ad standards of Canada and she could face fines. Let’s get the facts straight here. She is REQUIRED to indicate when she receives free or discounted items she discusses her opinion on.

  38. You’re awesome Jillian! Love your honesty and the reason why so many of us follow and enjoy your posts and website is that your personality is enthusiastic and real. Thanks for being you!!

  39. love your blog & all the awesome recipes, shopping, & family experiences!
    your pics, your adventures, little Leo & Nacho…I enjoy it all, thanks so much for sharing with all of us!….keep it coming & Keep Smiling! 🙂

  40. Continue to be who you are, the person who so many follow, and love. Whether you changed your original post or not, you have to do what is right for YOU. Sometimes the picture we have of how things should be, are not how they happen. Your Christmas wasn’t your traditional, ideal Christmas, but you are all healthy and happy, and that is the most important thing, no matter where you are. Have a wonderful new year, and always remember this hashtag…#blessed!

  41. Just one little question. Did Justin ask your Dad and Mom for your hand while you were in Kelowna? Or was it truly a surprise for everyone when he proposed!!
    Congratulations and welcome to the world of shared Christmas.

  42. The original version was just fine, as were your edits. You are genuine and I know when you endorse a brand or product, you do so because you truly believe in it.

  43. I Always enjoy your posts Jillian. I just want you to know that I appreciate you sharing such personal events with us. I applaud the bravery it takes to leave yourself so vulnerable to everyone’s opinions. I know it hurts you sometimes. Congratulations on your engagement! I’m so looking forward to your engagement blog.

  44. Hi Jillian – I read the original blog and didn’t bat an eye at it! It was lovely! And for you to take the time to blog during all that was going on, including your engagement, was a treat for all of us! My adult children cherish (and require) the family traditions and special times we have created over the years and with a baby and extended family it gets difficult sometimes. Do what YOU need to do and NEVER apologize for it! Being with your families, however that looks and works, is most important and you clearly succeeded! I am so glad you had a wonderful Christmas with your families and wish you only the best for 2017! You are a star!!!

  45. Love this!! Sounds like the perfect Holiday with the people you love most!! AND I need to know where that adorable black dress is from!! 🙂

  46. Where did you get Leo’s shirt? One of my twins is named Paddy and we call him Paddy (patty) cake from the nursery rhyme.

    1. Hi Linz! Was just looking through this post to see which photographer I could credit with this fab pic of Leo in my tee, when I came across your comment!
      It’s from The Sweet Life Apparel, and I’m in Vancouver 🙂 I’m a stay at home baker mom hence the baking themed tops!
      You can check the tees out online at


      @thesweetlifeapparel on Instagram

  47. please please help me with ideas on my renovating although is an almost new home we are completely changing inside and out even adding a floor and new roof but our budget is limited.

  48. Hi Jillian! I’ve been following you for a while and really enjoy your blog! I look forward to them everyday 🙂 Are you able to tell me where you got that black dress from (the one in the photo of you, Leo, Nacho and Justin next to the ‘Its love baby’ sign)?



  49. Jillian!
    Just curious where you guys took Leo to have his picture done with Santa?

    I think it’s also the first photo on this post?

    Loved the show!!

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