"It was unreal!” says TV’s bubbly Love It or List It star Jillian Harris. “I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life.” The first-time mom is talking about her baby shower, thrown by her friends at a stunning luxury private estate in West Vancouver – a celebration she shared exclusively with Hello! Canada.
“We were mindful to create an event that captured Jillian’s personality and style – glamorous with a natural and organic feel,” says event planner Aly Armstrong, who designed the party and décor – all white with pink floral accents – in collaboration with Monika Hibbs and Shay Merritt.
The Canadian star has kept busy with work engagements since sharing her exciting baby news with fans in March. But now, with her due date only weeks away, the beautiful former Bachelorette is in full-force mom mode. Here, she chats to us about what her shower meant to her, decorating nurseries and what she and boyfriend Justin Pasutto are looking forward to most about parenthood.
Your shower was absolutely beautiful! Was it a surprise? It was a complete surprise. We plan on having the baby in Kelowna so I’m not going to be in Vancouver for a few months. [My friends] were just going to do a little get-together. I was expecting a girls’ lunch. But it was unbelievable – my heart just exploded.
What was your favourite part? My life is so busy in Vancouver and I feel like I’m always having to miss out on events so it was nice to just connect with everybody.
What’s the best piece of parenting advice you’ve received? Do what’s right for you and your family. Me and Justin are an unconventional family, we’re not married, we work in different cities ... Our family is all about being open. There are no rules. There’s love and having fun and just making it work.
Do you have a guess about the baby’s gender? We swear it’s a boy. But we have no reason to think that. We just think it’s a boy.
How did you decide on the designs for your nurseries? Everyone knows I love white, plus it was gender neutral. I stuck with a very classic warm white theme for our Kelowna home. So it’s very traditional, very classic, a lot of weathered woods and creams and whites and oatmeals in Kelowna. In Vancouver our home is very practical and minimal. Vancouver is our work life. So it’s not about décor and comfort; it’s about [being] practical and efficient. Just white and a little pop of colour.
Will you get any help with childcare? I have a good lead on a nanny. She’s actually the girl that I used to nanny! Hopefully we can make that work where she can help around the house. Not so much taking care of the baby, but taking care of us.
What are you most looking forward to about being a mom? Having the opportunity to bring a human into the world and raise them to be something that’s really spectacular. No pressure for the baby. [ Laughs] If they decide to flip burgers and play video games, that’s fine, too. But I want to do my best to raise somebody who has a great work ethic and values and a huge heart and just wants to give back.
What is Justin most looking forward to about being a dad? Justin is the player. He can’t wait to take the baby camping and fishing and to videotape them doing goofy things.
Do either of you have a childhood toy you want to share with the baby? Yeah! In the nursery I’ve incorporated both of our first teddy bears and our first little blankies. It’s kind of up to the baby what it’s going to hang on to the hardest.
Who is most excited about the baby? Oh my God, Justin’s dad is over the top. When we told him, he wanted to plan out every vacation for the next two years. Our parents are stoked.
After the baby is born, what will be the first drink you celebrate with? I don’t want to sound like an alcoholic, but anything. I just want wine and a margarita and sangria. I don’t know what it’s going to be first, I’ll have to plan it out. Maybe a nice peach Bellini.
Blush Wedding Photography
PLANNING AND DESIGN: Aly Armstrong Event Planning & Design and Monika Hibbs
FLORAL DESIGN: The Flower Factory
UMBRELLAS: The Cross Decor & Design
CATERING: Truffles Fine Foods