How does 40 years fly by so fast? We celebrated Jillian’s 40th birthday this month in STYLE with a trip to Maui and a winter wonderland party… just like she deserves! Our sweet Jilly turns 40 TODAY, happy 40th birthday babe!!
If you follow Jillian on social media or from her TV days you will know just from seeing her that she is a truly amazing person who radiates kindness and ‘realness’. She wears her heart on her sleeve, is smart, funny, hard working, passionate, genuine, giving and loves hard.
Growing up as her ‘sister’ (our moms are sisters, we are technically cousins), I can honestly say that she hasn’t changed a bit over the years. She was the sweetest little girl growing up, always thinking about other people, outgoing and brave … and so much fun to be around. She’s still the life of the party!
I have thought a lot about why I think Jillian is so successful, and I’ve come to the conclusion that above all else (because there are a lot of reasons she is successful) it she has no fear of failure. When most people say no and shy away of risk, she jumps right in without a second thought. She lives life with her whole heart and is such an inspiration to me. It is something to think about as we enter a new year… what would you do if that fear wasn’t holding you back?
As kids we spent all of our summers and vacations together (like the picture below of us with my brother Terry in Hawaii… I um, grew a little faster than she did lol) as children even once I moved away to Kelowna from Peace River (I was 8 … I’m 2 years older). Our summers were filled with long days swimming in the pool like fish or on the lake, and we loved camping together.
Unbelievably our parents let us go camping, completely alone, through the Rockies for 10 days when I was 16 and she was 14, driving from Northern Alberta to eventually end up back in Kelowna. We had no cell phones (they weren’t around back then… something I miss), a crappy tent and my mom’s Mazda mini van (which we slept in one night due to a bear sighting). We were so responsible, but looking back I can’t say I will be as relaxed with my kids! There’s no doubt though that the freedom we had gave us the best memories and taught us some of the most valuable lessons in life.
Fast forward to the present and we live a mere 5 minute drive from each other with families of our own – it’s so awesome. I wonder what we would have thought of our lives if we were to look forward to now when we were little girls. It’s pretty cool to have such a close relationship with someone for life – it’s a gift that I’m so grateful for. We’ve been through so much together, from break ups to babies being born and crazy business ventures that tested us in every way.
Jillian is such a generous person and is always spoiling us rotten with kind gestures, thoughtful gifts and epic parties for our family. From birthday parties to baby showers, she is always putting something incredible together. This year we wanted to show her the same love back and hosted an intimate Winter Wonderland birthday party.
We worked with our friend Yuriko at Vintage Origami to create a winter wonderland scene – I wanted it to feel like you were walking into Narnia (you know that wardrobe scene). Yuriko and her team are such talented and truly kind people, I highly recommend them for any event you may be planning!
Our friend Carrie at Ginger Creative made up some awesome custom signs and even hand-carved these incredible oversized white homes with windows – they blew my mind! The Cake Mama created the most unreal cake that looked like a cable knit sweater, and made the most adorable matching sweater cookies to go with the cake. She is sooo talented! And the cake was so moist and delicious.
Our friends at Gray Monk Winery provided the wine and bubbly to kick off the night – that Merlot was super yummy! Charles and I ended up making tacos and doing a taco bar since it is Jillian’s favourite meal. We did a vegan version using Beyond Meat that was a hit, and made it gluten free using a gluten free spice mix (we used Club House) and offering corn tortillas for our family who can’t have gluten.
Jilly, we love you to the moon and back and couldn’t imagine life without you! Kiss Mickey for us and we can’t wait to hear all about your trip to Disneyland!