on preparing for baby number two

Okay, where did the time go? If you had run into me a month ago I would have told you that this was the longest pregnancy ever. Honestly, I feel like I have been carrying this kid around for years but yesterday I realized that I only have 12 weeks (or so) left before we welcome our little girl into the world. It's definitely different the second time around.

28 weeks and counting. And yes, standing on a chair!

During my first pregnancy I read almost anything I could get my hands on that dealt with being pregnant, becoming a mother, breastfeeding and of course labour. My husband and I attended birthing sessions where we reenacted what delivery might be like and plunged our hands into ice cold water in an attempt to mimic the discomfort and pain of childbirth (um, really...that's the best you could do, cause honestly it doesn't come close to comparing.) I  religiously attended pre-natal yoga classes twice a week and got in touch with my unborn child. We decorated the nursery, put together our stroller, pre- washed baby clothes and planned and executed our own baby shower. Before we fell asleep at night we tossed back and forth possible names and tried to imagine what the baby would look like.

Minimalist children's story poster designed by Christian Jackson - Square Inch Design

How times have changed! I've made it to a total of one pre-natal yoga class, haven't cracked a book on the subject of pregnancy and have boxes of baby clothes in the basement I need to sort through. As I lay awake last night thinking of all the things I need to do I thought the best plan of action would be to make a list and try to tackle at least one thing each weekend for the next 12 weeks. I hope you're reading this, Myles!

Frazier & Wing Lucky Yellow and Sunshine Mobiles.

  • Take stroller to bike repair shop and get brake fixed.
  • Go through above mentioned boxes of baby clothes and sort and clean as necessary.
  • Stock up on diapers, wipes, laundry detergent and other things newborns need lots of.
  • Clean and install infant baby seat.
  • Buy some new change table covers, a new mobile for above the crib, new sheets and an Ergo carrier.
  • Apply for my maternity/parental leave benefits.
  • Make sure we have all the supplies we need for a home birth.
  • Prepare and put meals in the freezer.
  • Buy some good nursing bras. (Does such a thing exist?)
  • Get bassinet cleaned and ready for our bedroom.
  • Design, decorate and get Henry moved over to his new bedroom. (Gulp!)
  • Treat myself to one of these new diaper bags (unless someone else wants to buy one for me!)

Virginia Johnson chain stitched tote bag in Henna Black (currently on sale!)

Virginia Johnson Chain Stitched Tote Bag in Bear Dark Brown

If I can get all of this accomplished, attend a few more pre-natal yoga classes and re-read a few of those chapters on childbirth I'll be feeling pretty good. I'd love to hear how you prepare for baby whether it's your first or second (or third, fourth, fifth!) time around.

52 objects - no.21

The art of the deal of should it be steal? I can't resist a good bargain, I admit it. If I find something that is on sale especially one of those humdinger, super marked down, once in a lifetime deals I'll more than likely to buy it even if I don't really need the object. I can think of a few things in our house that we got for a steal; our coffee table for one. We bought that at a local store called Commute Home about 6 years ago. It actually belonged to someone else first but they didn't like it and returned it to the store. Since Commute mainly deals in custom made and one of a kind objects they resold it to us for a song.

Oftentimes, I find "the deal" so compelling that you can't think or talk about the object without recounting the tale of how you acquired it. The object becomes a symbol of not only your good taste but also your superior shopping skills! Do you have any great deals or fantastic finds in your house? Do you find yourself recounting the story of how you got your hands on it?

Below is object number 20 in my quest to document my life in 52 Objects. It's one of my best steals!

hello!neighbor - jenny

This is the tenth Hello! Neighbour post I have done and with each one I reach a little further out from my network of friends to discover new homes and places. I first learned about Jenny Francis from her blog which I came across when looking for a web designer (not only is she an architect but a graphic designer as well). She had a post about a Parkdale Victorian which immediately caught my eye. I loved the images of the exposed timber wood ceiling and cutout in the hallway and immediately started wondering if I could do the same thing to my Parkdale Victorian. Then a few months later, I was flipping through an issue of DesignLines magazine when I spotted not only the same beautiful ceiling but a long horizontal mirror that looked eerily familiar. I knew that mirror, it was a vintage find that got away! I was so upset about missing out on that mirror that I actually blogged about it here. I now knew not only who owned the beautiful Victorian house but the mirror as well, none other than Jenny Francis, herself. So, I reached out and sent her an email and asked her if we could tour her house. Of course, she said yes. Enjoy the tour!


Jenny Francis, principal and owner of Jenny Francis Design



How long have you lived in your home?

5 years

Any animals, kids?

2 charcoal grey cats

What is your favorite room?

The ground floor living/dining room. We have had fantastic dinner parties at this long table. It feels good to be in it.

What is your favorite object/thing/moment in your home?

The custom pieces that I have designed are special to me, such as the cocktail tables and the walnut dresser in the bedroom.

What are your future plans for the home?

Additional renovations are planned, for the exterior of the house, the upstairs (new bathroom, new custom closets) and we are considering turning the laneway garage into a little studio.

Anything you would change?

Yes certainly - the house is small and so every design move must be considered very carefully - we haven't touched certain areas yet but refinements are definitely planned.

Best thing about living in Parkdale?

It's a vibrant neighborhood, with a wonderful mix of cultures. It feels as though it's constantly changing and improving, which generates an energy that is exciting to be a part of.

What original feature(s) of your home will you never get rid of?

One of the nice things about the house is that none of the original interior partitions or finishes were precious, and so we could strip things back to a crisp, clean new space. The house is solid and well proportioned, but other than that, there is little we would hesitate to change. We would never get rid of the amazing douglas fir joists that we have exposed in the ceiling though - the wood is beautiful.

Thanks Jenny for letting us inside your home! I'm happy the mirror went to a good home. It looks absolutely perfect above your dresser. It was obviously meant to be.

All photographs by Kristin Sjaarda for The Marion House Book.


Image 1
- Wicker couch: InAbstracto
- Brass edged cocktail table: Custom designed by Jenny Francis for Hotel Le Germain
- Ottoman: 3rd Uncle for the Drake Hotel
Image 2
- Coat hook: Eames Hang-It-All
- Scarf: Virginia Johnson
Image 3
- Baskets: Hollace Cluny
- Jielde Lamp: Inside Modern Living
- Framed photo: framing by Soho Framing
Image 4
- Rolling bar cart: vintage stand, custom corian top
- Stool: Tolix
- Chair: vintage, reupholstered by The Big Stuff
- Mirror: from Chatelet
- Blanket: from Istanbul textiles market
- Pillow: from Fluf
Image 5
- Stools: Tolix
- Chairs: Caban
Image 6
- Brass edged cafe table: Custom designed by Jenny Francis for Hotel Le Germain
Image 7
- Mirror: vintage from Queen West Antiques
- Walnut dresser: custom, designed by Jenny Francis
- Side chair: vintage, from Machine Age Modern
- Pillows: Assorted, from Fluf, Caban, Dwell Studio
- Basket: West Elm
Image 8
- Framed prints: Top by George Taxali, bottom - lino cut bookplates
- Lamp, stool, case: all vintage
- Bedspread: from Istanbul textiles market
Image 9
- Mirror and framed photo: framed by Soho Framing
- Light: combination of vintage parts
- Dresser: vintage from Bungalow
Image 10
- Rolling table: vintage stand, custom solid walnut top

before and after

I thought we would start off the week with a little before and after. This is a design project that my partner, Yasmin, and I took on late last year with our company Marion Melbourne. The owner is a lovely woman who was looking to update the second floor of her house. We redesigned her master bedroom, bathroom, and office. Today, I'm going to show you the master bedroom makeover.

Here is the before:

Not looking so great. Like many of us, she never really finished her bedroom after she moved in. It by no means reflected our client who has great personal style and an energetic and vibrant personality. This woman has the best collection of Virginia Johnson shawls, scarves and tunics that I have ever seen.

Virginia Johnson - (don't you love this stuff?)

Luckily, for us she was game for almost everything including a custom fuschia pink upholstered headboard, oversized pendant light and bold patterns. I think her new bedroom is a much better reflection of who she is. I hope she is enjoying it.

And the after: