Welcome to la petite lulu! I'm Luana, a thirty-something Aussie expat living in Northern California. I'm a wife, mama and follower of Jesus. 

I love to bake, mostly because I have a weakness for dessert. My best creations usually occur around 9pm when I realise my 'emergency' chocolate stash is no more and I have to get creative in the kitchen to satisfy my sweet tooth.

I love planning holidays, even if it's not my own vacation.

I love to write and aspire to one day write a book, the title of which has been floating around in my head ever since my first experience of the Dutch koninginnedag (Suffering from oranjegekte: an expat in Flatland) but I'm yet to start writing. Perhaps when I'm retired.

I couldn't sew a straight line in high school home economics class but bought a sewing machine in 2008 and have since become addicted to crafting. I'd love to run into my teacher one day to tell her I can actually sew now.

I always knew in my heart that I would one day have children, but it took having my own child to get me over my fear of tiny little people. Some days they still scare me, but now I imagine myself having a big family. Four sounds like chaotic perfection, but I just can't stomach the thought of driving a minivan.

I speak 4 languages: English, French, Dutch and Fredunglish. The latter being the one I'm most fluent in.

Before moving overseas & becoming a Mum, I used to work in the health department but I think my dream job is most definitely not being a public servant. If I could choose my career, I'd be a party planner. All aspects - from the decorating to doing the catering, I'd be in my element.

I was born and raised on the east coast of Australia but have spent a great deal of my adult life on the move, despite never having flown before the age of 19. Having now lived in five different countries and traveled around more than I can count, you could safely assume that I have itchy feet :-) Living a life on the go has been full of highs and lows, but I've done it all alongside my best friend.

Here's my story so far...

On February 7th 2004, I married my high school sweetheart & best friend...

After I graduated university, we both got bitten by the travel bug. So in 2007, when my husband had the opportunity to undertake a PhD internship in the south of France, we packed our bags and made our first international move - to the land of champagne, macarons and snails...

We spent seven months living in a small town called Avignon, spending our weekends and holidays exploring Western Europe before heading back to Australia in 2008...

But not for long - wanderlust struck yet again! In 2010 my husband was offered a two year post doc overseas and we packed up our lives yet again, this time landing in the Netherlands. I am half Dutch so moving to Holland and experiencing the Dutch way of life was a real eye opener for me. It felt like a missing piece of the puzzle finally fell into place...

In December 2010, we were overjoyed to discover we were expecting! Having our first child in a new country with a foreign language and no family nearby was definitely a character building experience, but we were thrilled to finally start a family of our own...

In August 2011 we welcomed our firstborn, our little Dutch boy into the world...

It might sound like a cliché, but our lives truly were changed forever :-)

In 2012 our little family made yet another international move, this time to the USA. I had thought that moving to an English speaking country would be a breeze after years of living in Europe, but the culture shock continues to surprise me.

In July 2013, we were thrilled to find out we were expecting again!

And in March 2014, we welcomed our second son into the world; our little Californian bear...

Fast forward a little over 2 years and we evened up the balance a little in our family with the arrival of our precious baby girl in April 2016...

We are now happily living life as a family of five in the San Francisco bay area.

Welcome and enjoy :-)

la petite lulu has been featured on What To ExpectPositively Amy, Just Dawnelle, Me + The MoonMy Traveling Troop, See You There & Wifessionals.


  1. luana you have the cutest blog! thanks for stopping by my little place in the blog world :)

  2. i love your blog! it's so well designed, the photography is great, but more importantly--there are so much interesting reads on here. so glad we connected and we relate to our common experiences as mommys :)

  3. Hi Luana! Visiting through bloggy moms and so glad I did -Love your blog!
    The picture above looks very familiar, Holland (Scheveningen) by any chance??
    Greetings from New Zealand (ex-Dutchie) :-)

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Good guess - it is Scheveningen :) I'm also an ex-Dutchie - well, half Dutch but my husband and I lived there for the past 2 years.

  4. oh your blog is just beautiful! our family actually wants to move to Australia! except we have been told that its very hard to get a visa to live there! ;(

    1. Thanks for stopping by Melissa! I think it can be hard, unless you already have a job offer and they are willing to 'sponsor' you for a visa. It's definitely worth a try though - it's a very unique place to live :)

  5. thank you for following Carole's Chatter Blog Tips. You might also be interested in my main blog Carole's Chatter. I have followed you right back. Have a super week.

  6. I found you through the Facebook, Twitter and Blog hop! Your blog is too cute and I love your Etsy creations!

    I look forward to getting to know you better and reading more!

    Brittany Michelle

  7. This such a nice introduction

  8. wow, sounds like you have lived in some wonderful places! my husband and i are kind of sort of from all of the place, but we've pretty much have just lived in georgia, USA most of our lives.
    well, i am glad to be following now! can't wait for more posts

  9. new follower from the mommy-brain mixer :) how awesome to live in so many cool places! what wrap are you using in this pic?

  10. Awesome blog!! Glad you found me so I can follow you back :)

  11. Hey Luana!
    Wow you sound absolutely fascinating! I've always wanted to live in another country but my husband isn't interested. But that's the life of an academic, isn't it? Being able to work in many different countries?
    Looking forward to getting to know you better x

  12. Wow! What a beautiful story about your family and all the places you've been!

    I look forward to reading your posts about life in San Francisco! I miss the Bay Area. We just moved to Singapore from Monterey, Calif., which is just a couple hours south of S.F. We are definitely enjoying our time here in Asia, but definitely miss our old stomping grounds.


  13. I just found your blog, and I LOVE the picture of your baby in the bike basket! Too adorable. I'm totally jealous of your travels.

  14. I also married my high school sweetheart and only a few days days before you :)
    I always wanted to travel all around so I think that is so cool y'all have :)
    Looking forward to reading more!

  15. such a happy and wonderful love story! it was fun getting to learn about you! you two are a perfect pair! i love your picture on your header, it was the reason i clicked on your blog :) happy to be following along! would love if you stopped by mine!


  16. Just found your blog via Jodi's Project 52... I've been loving reading through some of your posts. I'm British and my husband is American, but we both grew up in Africa... and we now live in Texas, haha... "world citizens" as we like to say. We are high school sweethearts too :)

  17. Love your blog! So glad to be following you back! :) Have a great day!

  18. Wow what a lovely story, I look forward to following along.

  19. wow what an incredible story! I look forward to reading more!

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  21. I love how many pictures you have in your About section! And what a great story -- thanks for sharing your journey! :)


  22. Luana, this is not my 1st visit to your "about" page, but I feel like I learned so much more about you from it. Your photos are stunning. I'm partial to the baby in the bike basket. So Dutch, and so cute!


Thanks for reading, your comments make my day :-)


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