About Helen

I'm Helen, a mama, writer, weaver and jewelry designer. I am an Australian living in Massachusetts with my older man + three much younger men.

FOLLAIN

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I'm forty this year. And as soon as I stop having to breathe into a paper bag whenever I say or write that sentence, I'll tell you about how I'm feeling about it. I have had to come to terms with the fact that my skin is no longer as bouncy and elastic as it [...]

FOUR HOUR SPAGHETTI SAUCE

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Happy Valentines Day! I hope it was what you wanted it to be.  Maybe a romantic dinner (I remember those) or flowers delivered at work or just Netflix and chill (so glad I'm not in my 20s). It kinda felt like any other day here. It wouldn't be the first year that I didn't really [...]

THE WEEKEND

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Everyone has been sick this week except for me. I'm tired and I've been slightly grouchy most of the week. Probably because I have been up every night with three sick boys. Today we spent two hours getting the boys in their snow suits ready to go sledding outside. When you have three sick children [...]

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

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Today was a snow day. Bennett is sick so he'd have been home anyway, but Finn was off school too and Robbie worked from home. It's fun to imagine what life would be like if we shared a home office. I'd like to think that we will work for ourselves some time in the not [...]

SUGAR FREE ME

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Rob is in Bahston with  friend to watch the Super Bowl so it's just me and the boys. We're doing the ushe for a 24 hour period without daddy. PJs all day, popcorn and smoothies, pizza for dinner. And this morning we tried on mum's boots while Bennett did headstands. Like I said, the ushe. [...]

CAMP FINN

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My little camper is five years old. If it's even possible, I think I get more emotional every year around the boys' birthdays. To Finn, it took an eternity to get here. And on Wednesday at 7:14am, when he officially turned 5 years old I told him he'd never-ever-ever be four years old again and [...]

FINN’S CAMPING THEMED PARTY

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We had a camping themed party for Finn's fifth birthday this week. It's winter in New England, so we thought it would be fun to bring the great outdoors, indoors. We started with the Modern Camp theme from Harlow & Grey and expanded from there. D E C O R [...]

THE BOYFRIEND WATCH

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I love winter. I know I say it every year and I know it's probably starting to sound like I'm trying to convince myself, but it's the truth. I love the snow when it's big and clumpy and blanket-y, I love having a fireplace and actually using it and I love over-dressing. Robbie does [...]

SO, HAPPY NEW YEAR

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So, Happy New Year. In my twenties, New Years Eve was the source of a great deal of anxiety for me. My friends and I used to take weeks to decide which was going to be the best Sydney party to go to. It was a big decision. There were DJs to consider, venue location, [...]

2017, LET’S DANCE

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So, 2016 huh? I hope you all feel accomplished in some way. This year has been high stress and high emotion for a lot of reasons. We had another baby, obviously. And the election. That whole thing. And we lost a lot of talent this year, didn't we? Bowie. Prince. Cohen. George Michael and now [...]

OUT SICK

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I've been so sick you guys. Fevers and chills since Monday night. You don't want to know the details. I'm feeling about 70% right now and compared to how I've been feeling the last few days 70% feels amaaaaazing. Finn and Bennett are so sweet when I'm sick. Finn made me gifts and wrapped them [...]

THE MOST CHILDISH FOOD ON EARTH

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For the past 72 hours I've been making myself sick on marshmallow sandwich cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have a low grade headache from repeated blood sugar spikes and now I'm sharing the joy with you. The cookie recipe is this one from epicurious. The marshmallow recipe I usually use is Ina Garten's. [...]

HAVE YOURSELF A SCANDI LITTLE CHRISTMAS

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My good intentions for an amazingly organized holiday season have been thwarted the last five years by pregnancy hormones and lack of energy. This year is no different. If you're doing last minute decking of the halls like me this year, here's a little collection of the cutest Christmassy things on the internet. Surprise, [...]

I AM ELF

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Oh heyyyyyy. There's a babysitter up in this house. Which means I'm not in my pajamas. I'm going work-casual. Which is good because I totally feel like I'm at the office. Our bedroom is the size of a small upper east side apartment so a few months ago we converted the office into a guest [...]

A SWEET + SPICY GIVEAWAY FROM PRANA CHAI

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Prana Chai has been at the top of my "bring home from Australia" list for years. A while back I wrote to Prana in Melbourne and asked them if they would please, please, please come to the USA. Turns out they had found a distributor and they were already on their way. In celebration of [...]

CATCH UP

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When it's Robbie's turn to read to the boys I take Jules. Sometimes he naps for ten minutes and I have just enough time to do absolutely nothing. Or I could write half a blog post. Really I'm just waiting for Robbie to get downstairs so we can watch Westworld. Have you seen it? We [...]

OH HELLO

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So this is my hair. The other half is in a vacuum cleaner bag at the Green Room in Boston. My single chair salon experience went just as perfectly as expected. The haircut was fun, but just being out on my own -­­­­­ I was like a giddy school girl. It was bananas. I don’t [...]

MY FAVORITE FOOD BLOGS

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When I think of my favorite food blogs, I'm not thinking about cooking. I go to Ina for that. My favorite food blogs tell stories from beyond the kitchen. I want to be there in the Tuscan Autumn, along side the hunting dogs when white truffles are unearthed from between the roots of oak trees in [...]

SHOP SMALL HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

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Small business Saturday is November 26th and if there's ever been a more important time in our history to shop small it's now. One way we can make the world a better place for our children is to try to buy local, small and sustainable. If you can't get out this weekend, shop small from [...]

THE HAIR AROUND HERE

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We were just saying that Bennett's new haircut makes him look a bit feral. And then he came into the kitchen wearing a crotchet ring on his head. What you can't see here is the straight fringe and back to match. The hairdresser had a creative vision of what he should look like. That [...]

BUGABOO DONKEY REVIEW

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I've been wanting to post a Bugaboo Donkey review since April. When we bought ours, I was pregnant with Jules. We got it because with three boys under four, we liked the idea of the Comfort Wheeled Board (we call it the skateboard), so Finn can walk some and ride some. We've used it all [...]

CHANGES

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So I'm trying this thing. Over there. The Gazette. I'm drawing lines. Differentiating my mama blog from the 'business end'. I named this blog Les Petits Gazette ("The Littles" Gazette), with the intention of making it a kind of magazine for mamas. What manifested was a personal blog because to be honest, that's all I [...]

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS | BABY EDITION

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It's easier to fly with an infant than a toddler so if you have the choice, try to do as much long haul travel before your baby starts crawling and after she has started walking. That's not to say that flying with an infant on your lap is a piece of cake. There's still [...]

INDIAN SUMMER

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We've had perfect weather all week - Wednesday may as well have been the middle of August. It was warm all day and by the afternoon the weather was cool enough for a hike. Robbie got home at 4:30 and Finn announced that he wanted to go on an imaginary hike which took place in [...]

BEST GIFTS FOR KIDS WITH AUTISM

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Board games for family time and swings that hang from the rafters - the best gifts for kids with autism double as awesome gifts for the whole family. 1. CLOUD B TRANQUIL FROG 2. HONEY BEE TREE 3. THE EAGLE TREE 4. EMOTION-OES BOARD GAME [...]

ALL 80’S, ALL WEEK

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You might have noticed some changes around here. More on that later. For now I'm channeling my inner Debi Newberry and sharing a song for your Thursday. Whether it's your last day before a long weekend or it's the day your boss is out of town or it's trash day and your barrels really needed [...]

PUT IT IN A BASKET

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If you have children you know that a tidy house is really only minutes away from being a messy house as long as the kids are awake. The smart mama's secret weapon against clutter? Baskets, bins, buckets and hampers. Keep them in every room that the kids use. At the end of the day just [...]

THE ARGUMENT FOR APPLE CIDER DOUGHNUTS

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All three boys have been partying during the night the last couple of weeks and I'd like to say I have had zero sleep for four days in a row but I did close my eyes between 6 and 8 this morning while Robbie took Jules into the lounge room for a couple of hours. [...]

SAFE BATH TOYS

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Every time Bennett has one of his fevers I panic and overhaul a different part of our routine. A few months ago I put all of his stuffed toys in a hot dryer to kill any dust mites that might be contributing to his allergies. Last month I threw out all of our bath toys [...]

BACKUP BUNNY

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Bennett loves his stuffed animals, one in particular. His name is Big Bunny and Bennett takes him everywhere. If Big Bunny isn't in bed with him there's going to be a problem. A few nights ago Big Bunny was in the three seasons room. I couldn't find him anywhere. And for a horrifying five minutes, [...]

DESIGNER DIAPER BAGS 2017

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We can thank mainstream designers who have dipped into the baby market for the best designer diaper bags 2017. Sophisticated classics and French Riviera stripes that don't scream "I'm packing diapers and wipes!" are utilitarian and gorgeous. Ditch the garish mummy handbag because leaving the house with a baby shouldn't have to be an [...]

FIVE GUYS (FOUR GUYS AND A GIRL)

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I've been back for a week and I'm still unpacking from my trip. When Virgin finally found my bag, it was in New Jersey. I've never been to New Jersey but at least my toothbrush has. They delivered my bag on Sunday night and I was totally expecting a note stuffed in the side pocket [...]

JETLAGGGGG

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I'm running on about two hours sleep as I write this so if you want a meaningful, reasoned, intelligible blog post you're out of luck. What I can give you is tired and emotional. Will that do? The Australia trip isn't out of my system. I'm still on Sydney time (oh jetlag!) but there's so [...]

POSTCARDS FROM DOWN UNDER

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I'm in Australia! Sorry I just up and left, I hate good-byes. I arrived in Sydney on Thursday last week after 20 hours in the air with Jules. Turns out, four month old babies make the best travel companions. I left Robbie to look after Finn and Bennett with the help of his amazing mom [...]

ALL THE PRETTY GADGETS

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A couple of weeks ago, Comcast put on an Xfinity event for Boston influencers to learn about their X1 platform and Xfinity Home. I left Jules with Robbie for the first time and it felt so good to be out meeting adults. The Comcast staff were so nice. They ushered me from my car. They [...]

LITTLE WORKS

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After discovering that I could be making thousands of dollars just by taking a photo of a friend wearing flippers on a horse, I have decided I should start selling Finn's art work. Student loan debt be damned. "Traveling Polar Bear" "Crown" "Crown II2" "Kandinsky + Warhol Love Child" "Untitled" #592

THE DANISH WAY OF PARENTING GIVEAWAY

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➕ WINNERS HAVE BEEN CROWNED ➕ The winners of two signed copies of The Danish Way of Parenting were drawn this morning, all the way away in Rome, Italy. Congratulations to @yesteacher (Instagram) and Lauren Gordon (Facebook entry). I will be in touch shortly! Thank you to everyone who entered!! As promised, I've teamed up [...]

BUSH-WALKING WITH SOLLY

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Bush-walking is Australian for hiking in the woods. I was never much of a bush-walker in Australia until my friend Sam got me into it in the summer of 2006. Sam is a bush-walking kind of girl. She's also a baby-wearing kind of girl. I've been living as an ex-pat in the USA for nearly [...]

BUY THE BISSELL

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Yesterday I left Finn painting in the kitchen and Bennett watching Max and Ruby in the lounge room while I nursed Jules. Five minutes, max. I felt secure knowing that law and order was in the hands of my very capable four year old. I Instagrammed the aftermath of that decision and I'm re-posting the [...]

FEVER + THUNDER + NURSING = NO SLEEP

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On Saturday night we had a storm here. The regular 9 to 5 folks of the south shore mightn't have noticed it come through around 2am but we did. Bennett has had one of his fevers since Friday and he was burning through the night, which meant I was making visits every three hours for [...]

MATERNITY GIFTS

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Baby shower gifts are easy. Baby booties, teddy bear, done. Maternity gifts can be a little more tricky. The best products for the mama to be can be used while she's still pregnant. If you are close with the mama-to-be, go ahead and give her the perineum massage oil, but if you're not on the [...]

FINDING THE WORDS

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Finn told me that last night he had a dream about a sad train conductor. Said he couldn't get his sad face out of his head. I didn't know what to say because sometimes the things he says catch me off guard. We ended up with an Inside Out analogy about sadness being an important [...]

JESSICA JOELLE ALEXANDER INTERVIEW

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Residents of Denmark continue to rank as the happiest people in the world - why? What makes Danes so well adjusted compared to the rest of us? I interviewed Jessica Joelle Alexander, the author of The Danish Way of Parenting, which looks at the Danes' use of respect, empathy, reframing and authenticity to foster trust [...]

THE HAPPIEST CHILDREN IN THE WORLD

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I love the Danes. Back in 2007 to 2009, I was reviewing foreign films for the World Movies Channel in Sydney and my favorite films were from Denmark, Norway and Sweden. I saw in these films, cultures that were both gentle and intentional and I dreamed of living my life that way. (Mads Mikkelsen played [...]

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BENNETT

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Bennett George Thompson is 2 today. This boy is a big ray of happy sunshine. He always has been. I'll do anything to make him smile. Like letting him "paint" with our 11 year old mother's helper. Today I'm tired and I have to clean the house before a friend from Cali arrives this afternoon. [...]

OUR BABY BJORN BOUNCER

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This cute little thing that Jules is bouncing in is the Baby Bjorn Bouncer Mini. It arrived at our place a few weeks ago and it's making me wish I had one when Finn and Bennett were babies. This is my Baby Bjorn Bouncer Mini review. Robbie told me, while I was assembling this beauty, [...]

PADDLE FEET + A FRESHLY PICKED GIVEAWAY

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When we brought Jules home from the hospital, things at home looked strange. My mother was staying with us and she had tidied areas of the house I hadn't touched for a year. Also, Finn's vocabulary had increased and he was somehow more well behaved. But the most profound change was in Bennett. It seemed [...]

WE’RE JUST HERE FOR THE SEX

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When they hear that we have three boys, more people than you would think ask me if we had a third child because we were "going for a girl". We weren't going for anything. Jules is our sweet, smiley, roly-poly bonus-baby. But can I just say that if we were going for three children - [...]

AT HOME SWIM LESSONS

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I'm in love with my pool. It has an old-school diving board and a pool house and all summer long I feel like I'm living in a Slim Aarons photograph. I saved a mole from drowning in the pool this morning. A mole!! America has the cutest animals. I've never seen a mole in real [...]