March 19th, 2018
This post is long overdue and its been one I have been so excited to share since the summer! As y’all know this year was the big 3-0 for me. If you’ve been a reader of the blog you’ll also know I share my birthday with my long time BFF Georgia (or as we call her Jo). We were born the same year, she was born a few hours before me and we met as kids at Sunday school. Even to this day it’s still strange to us that we share a birthday – what are the odds?
In honor of turning 30 I wanted to take some fun photos of us to commemorate the milestone (if I’m being honest we’ve been wanting to do these since we turned 25 and every year kept putting off and off) as our 30th apporached we said it was now or never. Jo had just found out she was pregnant – with twins! So we photographed these in August vs. September.
We talked about everything in the 30 questions from friendship advice, finding love, embarrassing moments in our teenage years, loss & becoming mothers. This might be one of the most personal posts I’ve ever done but it’s also one of my favourites and I know you’ll all adore Jo as much as I do. Growing up we would dress alike and tell people we were twins, to this day when we go out people just assume we’re sisters.
I feel so grateful I’ve been blessed with an amazing set of the most supportive best friends in my lifetime. I’ll have to round them all up on here sometime. My hope for all young girls is to find your core people, love them and hold onto them. I couldn’t have imagined navigating life growing up without Jo!
What is your first memory of each other?
Anna: Asking Jo in the basement of our church when her birthday was; I was so excited when she said September 14th, she was not impressed lol.
Jo: I actually didn’t believe her, and found her mom to question if she was lying.
Anna: She eventually came around and was just as excited as I was…she had no choice, I always wanted a twin and I found mine that day.
Jo: I always shared my birthday with my big cousin, but I think it was meant to be to share it with my lifelong best friend. I didn’t know that then, I was 7 years old!
What is your favourite memory together – childhood, teenagers and adults?
Anna: Oh man, this is really hard because whenever we are together we always end up laughing in a corner – when we were young we annoyed a lot of people with how obnoxious we would be.
Jo: When we start laughing together we cannot stop…we even got detention together in grade 8 for half an hour for laughing too much during class…then we laughed the entire detention until our teacher said “just go” – I think that would be one of our favourite childhood memories.
Anna: Best. Detention. Ever. LOL Poor teacher…okay for teenagers I think if I had to pick my favourite was when we watched ELF in my basement together after Greek School one day and couldn’t stop laughing for the entire movie from start to finish — my dad actually came down and thought we were ‘on’ something. He questioned my mom later, concerned that we were high (which we were not) – she knew better, that’s just how we were…hyper to a whole other level back then!
Jo: One of my favourite memories was all the times we hung out in Anna’s room before/after we would go out – the best time was when we made a spur of the moment music video to Ashlee Simpsons’ SHADOW – I was Jessica Simpson dressed all in white, and since Anna was going through her ‘goth’ faze she was Ashlee dressed in black with dark red lipstick, I had silver glitter all over my face – we have to find that tape. We were 16…
If you could only pick three words to describe each other what would they be?
Anna: Charismatic, Funny, Loving.
Jo: Creative, Hilarious (to-me), Devoted (in all aspects of her life).
Anna: I wish I remembered more details of this instance but we were playing a Friends board game (we are both crazy obsessed Friends fans) and I picked a card and read the question out loud but wrong. Jo knows me so well that right away she knew I was reading two words wrong – and we silently communicated that through two words — her saying “no” me “yes” her “ no”. After a few tries I looked down and saw that she was talking about and we laughed hysterically for an hour. Kosta was actually there and remembers just looking at us like ‘what just happened?!’
Jo: Polka dancing at the customs gate in Greece (while being scolded by my now husband Marco), coaxing Anna to drive us in her parents rental van in a Florida parking lot (with no licence), Sweet Valley High book battle in grade 7, when she gave me a fake tattoo in class and we (as always) were laughing insanely in a corner… no one knew or understood why it was so funny and there really is no explaining it.
Anna: I’m so thankful we had each other growing up thinking of these memories – no one would laugh with me and understand and share my humour like Jo did – we were just happy, hyper kids who loved to laugh.
The biggest thing you’ve learned from your friendship?
Jo: Having a good friend that I trusted and loved like a sister gave me confidence to be myself and to try to make good choices early on. Over the years, I’ve learned that Anna and I both share the same belief to continuously work on ourselves and always try to be better people. We still strongly encourage each other to do the right thing no matter what the circumstance.
Anna: The importance of friendship. You really really cannot take them for granted and you really can’t get through life without them. My wish is for everyone to have a good friend like Jo in their lives. As cliche as it sounds, I would not be where I am today if I didn’t have her.
If you could give friendship advice to your younger self what would it be?
Jo: It’s enriching and fun to have a variety of friends, but important to make note of who you feel is ultimately going to be there years down the road. My dad always told me that Anna would be my best friend forever, and he was right. So I would say make the most time for the people you truly trust and who are in your corner, always boosting you.
Anna: I’m getting emotional now…*hugs* we always knew how important we were to each other, and really didn’t take each other for granted. My advice to younger girls especially these days is to try to find good trustworthy friends who will stand by you and help you navigate through life. If your friends don’t make you feel good don’t settle. Make better friends who make you feel happy, alive and supported.
How the heck do you stay friends for so long?
Anna: Any relationship takes work but I’ve always said your friendships should feel easy and not stressful. With that being said the secret to getting and keep good friends is to support them. Be there for them, be thoughtful and helpful – go out of your way to help wherever you can. Love them like your family, and include them in your life.
Jo: Definitely effort and understanding. There are lots of ups and downs and busy times in life, but a true friend will always understand and still be there for you. Truthfully, another reason we’re still friends is because there is not a jealous bone in our bodies when it comes to each other – we always want the other one to strive and succeed!
Anna: YES!! (she always says so eloquently what I’m thinking but can’t express haha) – I truthfully only want the best for my friends even if I’m at my worst. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in my life. I’ve always felt that from Jo, she really looks out for me and wants what’s right for me. When you feel that in a friendship it is really comforting.
If you could go back and tell your 16 year old self one piece of advice what would it be?
Anna: Don’t worry so much, it’s all going to be okay.
Jo: Don’t wear glitter sparkles on my face, and to invest in less belts!
Anna: No one rocked a belt like you Jo…
Jo: I think you had too many colors on your braces *laughs*
Anna: Oh gosh, I remember I had to leave school to tighten my braces and Jo (who also had braces) would beg me to get clear and be neutral. I would come back with red and green alternating colors for Christmas, smiling proudly while she laughed and shook her head at me. See, thats honesty!
What’s the best thing you can do for your friend to comfort them when they are having a bad day?
Anna: I think every friendship is different. For example our other bestie Chris, I know she does good when I go straight to tough love – that’s how we communicate. With Jo, I know to listen and then go right into problem solving options. We break it down (such Virgo’s) and we rationalize solutions point by point. And for me Jo…?
Jo: I agree! I listen – and I think I know how to calm you down for the most part!
Anna: Oh you totally do like no one else (even Ko sometimes will be like maybe you should call Jo now…)
Jo: It might sound conceited but I can sense when she needs me to agree with her, or when I should give her my honest advice to make a situation better.
Anna: When I’m struggling with something I’ll sometimes put off calling Jo – I’ll call other friends who I know will just agree with me, and then I know once I get her on the phone she’s the mirror I can’t ignore and the voice of truth and reason. She’s pretty much always right…damn it.
Jo: But I feel that you’re always right when it comes to my life haha!
What is the one trait you adore most about each other’s Mr’s?
Anna: From the first day Marc met Jo I had a feeling they would end up together. I knew he was right for her before she even knew…I remember looking at Jo the day after they met when she said “I don’t know if he’s my type” and I looked at her deadpan and said “he’s exactly your type”. I love that he is strong, loyal, funny and all around her ‘protector’ – I felt like when I saw them together I knew he would always take care of her like no one else would, and he has.
Jo: That’s so cute Ann! You were seriously Team Marc from the beginning and I’m not one to say Team anything!
Jo: Okay so about Ko…as a person I just admire how compassionate and truly kind hearted he is – it’s something you can sense off of him right away. I’ve known him with Anna since day 1 – there are very few men I see who admire their wife the way he does. I feel like he fully understands what Anna is about and appreciates her quirks…and he’s made Anna into more of a cuddler which I like.
Anna: We actually always joke that Jo and Ko are so similar and Marc and I are very similar Type A personalities. Marco and I are more set in our ways and can be hot headed, where as Ko and Jo are just peacemakers, easy going and lovers… opposites attract as they say!
Life brings so many unexpected things. When dealing specifically with loss what are some of the things you think are most helpful in friendship.
Jo: When I was 24 my dad passed away. It was incredibly difficult for me, but looking back now I also see how difficult it was for Anna. She is the type of person who wants to hang up the phone knowing you feel better, and at that time nothing could help. What I will say and what she did 100% right and I would tell others to do, is she never let me feel alone. Even if I wasn’t up to talking I knew she was thinking of me 24/7. At the end of the day, she loved my dad in such a sweet way and had so many memories with him too, sitting on our couch all talking for hours. Knowing she understood how big the loss was helped me feel like I would be myself again one day, and I would carry a piece of him with me. So my advice would be to remind your friends who go through a painful loss that they are still the same person, and that the person they lost made them wonderful.
Anna: Your dad to this day is one of my favourite people. I know a lot of people say that their best friends parents are like their second parents, but in this case he really was like a second dad. He even wrote my Greek school essays, would playfully poke fun when I would butcher Greek words, or the time he found out how (little) I made at the job I was working at 24/7 and gave me $100 before I left their house that day (one of the funniest and sweetest moments ever). He was also such an incredible friend to my dad which meant so much to me.
Jo: We really had such good upbringings with really fun parents. Humour also helps in hard times, and Anna was able to make me laugh again way before anybody else could.
Anna: My advice if your friend is going through something this tough would be just to be relentless in being there for them. You will get frustrated with how helpless you feel (that was the hardest part for me knowing I couldn’t fix this for her) the wall will go up, but just be there always on the other side waiting for whenever they need you, little or small. Keep calling, keep sending loving messages, even if they aren’t ready to talk or reply it will give them comfort when they are ready.
If money were no object what is one materialistic thing you would indulge in?
Anna: A personal chef…everyday…all day.
Jo: I was going to say a Chanel bag but that’s a better idea lol.
Who’s wardrobe do you think each other would want?
Anna: Easy…Victoria Beckham.
Jo: That was easy haha but you don’t talk about fashion as much you talk about creative ideas and decorating my home – if I had to pick…Anna do you even know?
Anna: No…not at all LOL this is unfair.
Jo: Okay, I would say a cross between SJP and Blake Lively.
If you had to pick a memoir name what would it be?
Jo: ‘How to be a better YOU’
Anna: ‘My brain has too many tabs open’ lol
What are the top 3 favourite beauty products the other uses?
Anna: Jo loves her CT moisturizer, Lancome Genifique, and coconut oil.
Jo: I literally had coconut oil all over my hair and body for two hours the other day.
Anna: I know her so well!
Jo: She switches all the time – Lancome Bi-Facial Remover (she got us all hooked on it), Dermalogica cleanser, and Kiehl’s face cream.
Top 3 Lady Hero’s (that you are not related to)
Anna: Annie Leibovitz, Sue Bryce, Oprah.
Jo: Your’s are so inspirational. JK Rowling – HP fans? She’s a genius who brought such a unique world to life. I also love Michelle Obama’s class and grace.
If you had to get a tattoo what and where would it be?
Anna: My wrist and it would read “agapi” which is love in Greek.
Jo: Mine would probably be like a heart on the side of my hip.
Anna: Really? I feel like you’d do it on the side of your ribs?
Jo: Actually yeah! Maybe one of the many strong Greek quotes I like to recite lol.
Most embarrassing moment?
Jo: Falling/sliding sliding down my grade 11 semi formal date’s driveway… in an outfit I loved! I think I blacked out.
Anna: Actually, your mom called my mom to tell her (our moms are also best friends) and when I got home she ran to me to tell me so concerned for you, “Oh gosh did you hear what happened to poor Jo, she fell down her dates driveway!”
Jo: My poor white and black tube dress.
Anna: But really? That’s your most embarrassing? That’s a regular Tuesday for me LOL I think that’s cute and charming.
Anna: Mine wouldn’t be falling or tripping because that happens literally daily, it never phases me. It’s hard for me to think of one because I really do not get embarrassed that easily?
Jo: It’s true – even when our classmate tripped her in the middle of our Olympics skit at Greek school she laughed it off. What about your ridiculous crush on Brandon Fraser or the PIANIST?! Or your childhood crushes…
Anna: Okay! Stop right there you got me…lol
Finish this sentence…I can always count on Anna/Jo to…
Anna: Tell me when it’s time to get my eyebrows done & catch all my spelling and grammatical mistakes!
Jo: To come up with family photoshoot ideas and decorate my home.
One thing people might not know about the other?
Anna: How adventurous she is!
Jo: Actually how adventurous we both are! People don’t expect it from us but we love rollercoasters and pushing the limit in things – we aren’t easily scared.
Anna: I think you are a bit more than me though! You are so tiny, dainty and cute (I call her Polly Pocket all the time) but she’s the first one to try bungee jumping, dirt biking…anything wild and fun, she’s game!
Jo: I’m definitely not the sporty type, but I love planning fun adventures and love that with Marco I’ve got to experience so many fun and new things!
Anna: Oh! Another thing is we are weirdly competitive when it comes to card games – we have not played a card game together since we were 13 after an intense game of SPIT!
Pet Peeves? What are they – one of your own and one you know the other hates?
Anna: How much time do you have? Haha I know Jo’s biggest pet peeve is liars – she will call anyone out in a lie. Mine would be people who can’t be happy for others, and people who are not grateful for what they have.
Jo: I’m actually a bad liar myself, maybe that’s why haha – Anna cares a lot about the principle of things and being honorable, so when people aren’t like that it really sets her off.
If you could switch one thing about each other to take what would it be? Looks wise and personality.
Anna: Looks wise so many! Hello! She’s gorgeous. Her full lips + flawless skin (this girl wakes up looking like she has airbrushed skin! Literally.) Personality wise – her confidence to do what she wants! I love that about her, especially as we’ve grown up she is unapologetically herself.
Jo: For me, I would pick her butt and eyelashes! She needs so little mascara to look fresh and great, I always tell her that! Personality wise – I would say her ability to do it all – she is the one person I’m always thinking how the heck she manages it all and is still so pleasant and happy?!
Anna: I don’t ! But she’s a good friend for saying so!
Name each other’s fashion faux paus over the years (since we know you’ve had some)
Jo: Anna had two pairs of snake skin pants and capris, turquoise and purple – she also wore a tiara on New Years in grade 8… I actually thought she was the coolest at the time.
Anna: So terrible!! Okay yours was definitely your cousins pink playboy bunny t-shirt you wore on special occasions (?!) and those oversized belts! Which at the time were really IN…she didn’t have a lot of bad style.
What is one trait from the your Mr.’s that has rubbed off most on the other?
Anna: I’ve loved that over the years Marc’s assertiveness has rubbed off on Jo. She makes a decision that works and sticks to it and doesn’t waiver. I love that about her, and it’s something I admire (I can be wishy-washy).
Jo: Kosta is so chill and over the last 10+ years he’s definitely rubbed off on Anna and made her look at things from a more calm perspective. He’s totally chilled out her Spartan side (we always kid about that).
One thing you love about motherhood that you didn’t expect?
Anna: I didn’t expect to change so much. I figured my views would alter but I didn’t expect to do such a 180. There are so many things I simply do not care for now that I once wanted so badly. I long for simple days with my boys spending time with the family.
Jo: I agree completely – it has made me prioritize a lot better and just really respect other mothers and fathers, and all that they do for their little humans.
What are you most proud of, of each other?
Anna: How she has overcome the hardships life has thrown her way. She’s done so with grace, kindness and love. I’ve seen her get through some of the hardest things life can toss at you all while still genuinely caring about other people. She never lost her ability to support those around her. I’m so proud of the person she is.
Jo: Anna built her business completely by herself. She knew there would be so many challenges and she never gave up. It takes a lot of persistence and dedication and I’m proud of how far she’s come. She has a lot of integrity and is the real deal.
What would the other one eat on their cheat day?
Anna: A table full of all the fries, different cuts and shapes…just give her all the french fries!
Jo: Definitely! I could live off fries forever. Anna has a lot… I think if I had to pick one it would be hot dogs – totally her guilty pleasure! I have to warn her not to get one when she goes downtown…which she usually sends me a photo of her eating one saying “oops!”.
What is the biggest perk of being such best friends over half your lives?
Anna: Aside from having someone who literally knows you inside out. Honesty and total bluntness – I love it when people give it to me straight, she calls me out on everything and I love it. She’ll also never gives up on me, and always looks out for my best interest.
Jo: Having someone that knows you so well; I find it really comforting and beyond helpful at times. We never need to catch up, we always know exactly what’s going on in each others lives.
Being mothers is one of the most incredible gifts. What have you learned from each other as ‘mom’s?
Anna: Jo is such an incredible mother. I’ve learned SO much from watching her be an amazing invested mother, but funnily enough the one thing I love is that since Jo’s become a mother she hasn’t sacrificed her relationship with her Mr. They really try to carve out time to spend together alone, and she’s always reminding me to do the same and that it’s GOOD thing. In order to be a good mom you need to make time for your spouse – I’ve learned that just because you have kids doesn’t mean your marriage doesn’t matter anymore. It changes, but you still have to make time together – even if it’s just watching a movie on the couch.
Jo: Her outlook on motherhood – just the way she is with and thinks about Yianni – it’s rubbed off on me, and has actually made me way more chill as a mom. Its a healthy outlook to always look on the bright side on the tough days.
Last one – first email addresses? GO!
Anna: firstname.lastname@example.org (we were in computer class grade 7 when we made these together with our other bestie Fo! haha I remember it so well)
Jo: Fro’s was actually the funniest, but we won’t reveal it ;). Mine was email@example.com. So clever.
Thanks for reading loves & hope you enjoyed getting to know this side of me!
If you’ve made it this far I’d love to hear about your BFF, comment below with one of your favourite memories!