My name is Jillian.  In Italy they pronounce it Gee-lee-Aan.  Sometimes to make everyone’s life easier I just introduce myself as Giulianna.

Born and raised in Canada.  Married to a Belgian scientist who happens to be the calmest, most patient, most incredible guy in the world.  Lucky me.

Currently living in beautiful Northern Italy (for more than a decade).  If you’re curious about the region I live in check out an article I wrote for one of my favourite magazines SisterMag here.

Mother to twin daughters (12) and a son (10) who happen to be the smartest, most creative and most loving kids a mama could hope for.  Again…lucky me.

In love with baking, cooking, sewing, chicken raising, gardening, traveling, photography…

Contact: jillianinitaly@hotmail.com

Find me here as well:
Twitter  Facebook  Instagram

I also write a bi-weekly Traveling With Kids column here.


48 Responses to “About”

  1. Trimamma February 16, 2012 at 09:32 #

    Dear Jillian,

    very nice to find you!!! I have triplets and I also feel very happy about it. I feel like a special person who will see these wonderful little people grow.
    I’m italian, but i lived in the States as a student.
    I’m live in north est of italy, perhaps we will meet one day.
    Love things you do.

    • jc February 16, 2012 at 10:35 #

      Triplets! Wow…you must be super-mom. I had 3 kids in 2 years and I thought that was a lot! Great to be in touch with you. If you’re ever around Lago Maggiore let me know! Jill x

      • Chris October 20, 2014 at 19:48 #

        Ciao Jillian, my wife and I moved from the US to Italy last year and are living in Arona. We have 4 littles ones so everyday is an adventure for us. We started a blog to capture of families adventures, check us out. Maybe we can meet up for a caffe sometime.


        Chris and Family

      • jc October 21, 2014 at 08:17 #

        Neat! I go to Arona all the time and love it. It would be great to meet up for a chat sometime. You can send me an email with your details to jillianinitaly@hotmail.com Take care!

  2. Sandra February 29, 2012 at 16:14 #

    Italy….we have a sabbatical coming up in a few years and spending it in Italy is one of our options. I spent 10 days in Rome a few years ago at a conference – the food was amazing and the city so beautiful. Lovely…

    • jc February 29, 2012 at 19:59 #

      If you have a sabbatical year coming up I think Italy would be a great place to go. So much culture, good food, great weather, fantastic shopping…etc etc. We’ve been here for over a decade and love it (most days). Italians love kids and family time is of the highest priority. Thanks for visiting Sandra!

  3. Cath March 9, 2012 at 13:22 #

    Hi. I live in Italy too and have one son (7) and a boy and girl who are twins (2). Look forward to reading your blog.

    • jc March 9, 2012 at 13:26 #

      Neat! Where do you live in Italy? And more importantly how are you coping with your twins?? I also have a 7 year old son. Hope to hear from you again, J

      • Cath March 9, 2012 at 14:59 #

        I am in Bologna. I love the aprons you found – I have never found anything in our mercatini but I think I will go and have another look. Do you know about http://www.ilmondodeigemelli.org ? They have a great forum for swapping twin stories, getting advice, meeting up (although I expect you are beyond the stage of needing advice now! We are just getting into the swing of tantrums here!)

  4. sleepwalkingintokyo March 19, 2012 at 11:10 #

    Hi Jillian! Nice to meet you 😉 Thank you for dropping by my blog! I hope you’ll enjoy your japan trip and looking forward on your trip photos 🙂

  5. Martin Loscher April 13, 2012 at 14:44 #

    Myself, my wife and 2 children (6 and 10) are heading off to Japan in August for an 8 day stop over before continuing on to Europe. Any suggestions on must see places to visit in Japan – although I should be asking at the end of your journey! Fantastic photo journal – the images show the children how much fun it will be.

    • jc April 16, 2012 at 12:38 #

      Hi Martin. I’m so glad to hear you’re taking your family to Japan. It’s an amazing country and so great for travelling families. The Japanese are so friendly and helpful,the food is amazing and the sites are unbelievable. Are you getting train passes for your stay? It might be worth it for you all because the trains are expensive but so convenient to use (JR rail passes). I would defintely suggest going to the five lake district as there are many beautiful shrines, hikes and of course Mount Fuji (we stayed at K’s House hostel in Kawaguchiko…very clean and affordable). After that I think Kyoto is a must see. So many beautiful shrines and temples but also many interesting places for kids (Monkey Park is a big fave). We rented bikes there for the day and it was perfect. In Kyoto we rented a traditional style Japanese house in the centre of town (although a quiet neighbourhood) and it was perfect. Let me know if you want the site. If you need any other tips or advice just let me know!

  6. americanmominbordeaux May 3, 2012 at 17:36 #

    Great to find your blog – We just moved to Bordeaux, France from New York State about 6 months ago…it’s nice to read experiences of other expats in Europe. I see you love photography too! I don’t have twins but I have 3 girls – 11,8 & 4 and they keep us plenty busy. Thanks for sharing it. I also started blogging our experiences mainly to keep friends in the States up to date with our travels and new life.

    • jc May 4, 2012 at 10:00 #

      Wow, Bordeaux must be a wonderful place to live. I absolutely love France. We try and go as much as possible. I’ll pop over to your blog to have a look. Keep in touch!

      • americanmominbordeaux May 5, 2012 at 08:52 #

        I will stay in touch…We have plans to be in Florence, Italy in the Fall – I love reading about your experiences. At this point, plan is France is 2 years – but you never know…I also feel very lucky to be where we are now – It’s a great feeling to LOVE where you live.

      • americanmominbordeaux May 17, 2012 at 20:37 #

        definitely…I really enjoy your posts!…it’s so fun to see how others adjust to foreign life!..

  7. Elena May 22, 2012 at 19:39 #

    Jillian, what a lovely picture of yours. It’s so beautiful, I love it!!!!
    You have a wonderful blog, be prepared to se me here often 😉
    Love, Elena.

    • jc May 23, 2012 at 15:55 #

      Thanks Elena! A talented friend made my photo so much nicer than the original (if you’re ever in need of a graphic artist she’s amazing). Thanks for visiting. Keep in touch, J x

  8. Jeni Johnson June 18, 2012 at 14:08 #

    I’m glad I cam across your blog, as an American now living in Sicily adjusting well and looking forward to flight hops!!! 🙂

    • jc June 18, 2012 at 16:37 #

      Glad you found me! I’m always happy to be in touch with a fellow North American living in Italy. How is it living in Sicily? I think it’s very different from living in the North. One day I’d love to make it down there to visit (soon I hope!). Thanks for the visit!

    • jc September 7, 2012 at 13:53 #

      These are great! I’ll give them a try for Hallowe’en this year.

  9. julia September 25, 2012 at 00:24 #

    I just discovered your blog and look forward to reading more!

  10. rebecca October 4, 2012 at 15:53 #

    I have gobs of plums–how’s that for not “much” or “many”? I wanted to try your plum-rhubarb jam recipe. I was curious what size jars you meant.
    I live in Portland, Or., so I’ll need to do all the conversions; and want to plan ahead for yield.
    We are having a glorious fall.

  11. pianoB November 7, 2012 at 18:49 #

    Hi! I’ve just discovered your blog and found out we already have two things in common: we both live in Northern Italy and have the same WP template 😉
    I’m a japanese>italian translator, love Japan and enjoyed a lot the photo posts about your trip there.

    • jc November 7, 2012 at 19:02 #

      Oh that’s so neat! I just took a peek at your blog and it’s great. Lovely photos. Where are you in Italy? Great to meet you!

      • pianoB November 8, 2012 at 15:00 #

        I’m in Trento. Nice to meet you, too! 🙂

  12. paola November 11, 2012 at 12:07 #

    Hi! I’ve just discovered your blog and I love your daughters’s winter coats but also rain boots and raincoats!
    where have you bought them? Seriously, I LOVE THEM!

    • jc November 11, 2012 at 14:27 #

      Hi there! The winter coats are from Boden. The rainboots from Joules. And the raincoats are from my favourite Danish brand Mala. I love to put my kids in colourful clothes!

  13. paola November 11, 2012 at 18:41 #

    Thanks! they are beautiful!

  14. Kerri January 18, 2013 at 16:01 #

    Your blog is so crisp.. I really like your presentation.

  15. sweetestmami January 18, 2013 at 17:57 #

    Hi Jillian! What a coincidence about our children. It is so much fun, isn’t it? I look forward to staying in touch and sharing with each other, sweet moments of motherhood and more. xox

  16. milkandbun June 7, 2013 at 23:01 #

    Hi, Jillian! So nice to find your lovely blog! Looking forward to read more:)


  17. Silvia June 13, 2013 at 10:48 #

    I’m so happy to have you discovered on ig … Well, if you live in Italy I speak Italian!
    A presto,

  18. amintiridinbucatarie August 8, 2013 at 10:10 #

    Hi Jillian,
    I found you blog today and I can’t stop reading it and living it, if I may say so. Congrats for the beautiful family and thank you for having this great idea of sharing so much with us. I love traveling, and cooking and doing small things that make people happy and your blog grew wings into my heart hoping I will get more dreams come true.
    Kindest regards, Oana from Romania 🙂

  19. lessthanperfectmama September 3, 2013 at 23:00 #

    Hi Jillian, so glad I found your blog. Italy seems to be such a magical place to live. Is it? Also, I read your post on Cup of Joe and loved hearing about your life with your family. Very interesting!

    • Jillian In Italy September 4, 2013 at 11:55 #

      Thanks for your message. And yes, Italy really is a magical place to live. I appreciate it’s culture and beauty every single day (and food of course!). Warm greetings! J

  20. lessthanperfectmama September 17, 2013 at 16:32 #

    Hi Jillian, since I’m new to your blog I wanted to start from the beginning and read your many past posts. I don’t see an Archives pull-down here, so do you know how I might start at the beginning? I’ve tried scrolling down to older posts, but there are so many it would take a long time to reach the beginning. Thanks!

    • Jillian In Italy September 17, 2013 at 17:06 #

      I just added a monthly archives which will make it much easier to look back at previous posts. Thanks for letting me know how difficult it is to go back though! I never thought about that. Warning though, my beginning posts aren’t that interesting! Jx

  21. Bron Leeks December 16, 2013 at 02:16 #

    Dear Jillian, I came across your wonderful blog while searching for travel tips with kids and Verona. Thank you for sharing all your stories and travel adventures. We are heading to Europe for the first time next year. We have three kids aged 8,5,2 and our eldest uses a wheelchair to explore and cannot wait! We will be traveling from Australia.

  22. Eva May 12, 2014 at 19:17 #

    Hi Jillian, I came across your blog while searching for nice places to live in Northern Italy (I am momentarily living in Milan with my sister). I have just relocated to Italy with my 8 years old son from Calgary, AB after 16 years. While I am Italian born, I was feeling a little overwhelmed, discouraged even (especially by the job search) and dealing with the “reverse culture shock”… Your blog really makes me feel so much more positive and makes me appreciate my beautiful country again and miss Canada and all I have left behind a little less.
    My son and I love the outdoor and I can’t wait to get out there and know new places.
    I am not artistic at all (always wished I was) and women/moms like you are such an inspiration to me!

    So thank you! I look forward to reading many more of your posts and to hopefully settle and adjust soon.


    PS: I read you make pancakes. Do you know if you can buy pancakes mix in Italy (ie. Aunt Jasmina) or do you make them from scratch? If so, would you mind sharing your favourite recipe? Thank you a lot.

    • Jillian In Italy May 13, 2014 at 22:27 #

      Great to hear from you! And I can relate to the reverse culture shock (I have it every time I visit Canada). Are you planning on staying in Milano or do you want to live elsewhere? The lake region is a great place to bring up kids (and so close to Milan). As for the pancakes I think it’s quite hard to find the mixes (and really expensive). I usually make this simple and quick recipe http://www.joyofbaking.com/breakfast/Pancakes.html

      Keep in touch Eva (love your name…my daughter is also Eva!)

      • Eva May 14, 2014 at 18:20 #

        Thank you for your reply! I am actually trying no to live in a big city and the area around Lake Maggiore really appeals me. Unfortunately I will have to go where I find a job though… sigh
        Thank you for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it. I assume you use the “lievito Bertolini” as baking powder?

        I will be in touch!

  23. kaur jass September 28, 2014 at 22:21 #

    hey giuliana
    I have been searching for some nice stitching books in English preferably .here in Italy I find it difficult translating LA mia boutique or burdastyle riviste.
    how could I get English sewing books in Italy .
    grazie ciao

  24. kaur jass September 28, 2014 at 22:26 #

    hello giuliana
    I find it difficult translating burda style or la mia boutique because it contains all stuff I needed
    help me how possibly could find English sewing books in Italy .

  25. Megan ODonnell January 12, 2015 at 23:43 #

    Hello. I found you on Instagram by accident. As one does. Im so glad I did. Your pictures are just so colourful and your children (and you) are just so way cool! I/we have identical twin girls too. But they’re all growed up now (32 on Saturday). I’m from a little town called Meyerton, south of Johannesburg, South Africa. Do put Cape Town on your list of places to see – its lovely. (I grew up there). Anyway. All the best. I’m going to follow you now, on IG. Xxxxx

    • nsamuel March 13, 2015 at 14:17 #

      Great work you are supporting, and here in Uganda, we are also working to promote reusable pads! We have been relying on donated shipments from volunteers around the world, Days for Girls- USA, and local purchases from a Ugandan social enterprise. We are currently working on sustainability options to run a local social enterprise producing and selling the pads. However, we still need lots of help — menstrual kits, funds and technical assistance on this project.

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