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.

MASTER BATHROOM UPDATE | BEFORE + AFTER

By | March 17th, 2017|BLOG, HOUSE|

BENJAMIN MOORE DOVE WHITE BATHROOM When we moved into this house two years ago, Robbie was recovering from his back injury and we had a 3 year old and a 1 year old. It was nice to find a place that really didn't need a lot of work. That was the rationale anyway - [...]

GETTING BACK TO THE WHY

By | March 15th, 2017|BLOG|

I'm working on my story for the Biographie project. There's a fair bit of procrastination going on. Like this post, for example. My story is about my depression after Finn was born. That's circa 2012, folks. But it lasted a reaaaallly long time. It lasted so long in fact, that the question of whether [...]

IRA GLASS ON STORY TELLING

By | March 10th, 2017|BLOG|

   BUCKET    SLED    CAR    LIP    APPLE I found these five words on a piece of paper in Finn's back pack a couple of weeks ago. I was kind of stunned. He'd been practicing tracing letters and then suddenly this. And so his writing career [...]

SCHWINN!

By | March 6th, 2017|GAZETTE|

I usually invest in high end baby gear, not because I care what the ladies at the kiddie park think of me, but because good quality gear lasts, and because when I'm done, I can pass it down or sell it. High end baby brands have a 60% to 80%  resale value on [...]

FUJIFILM INSTAX MINI 8 INSTANT FILM CAMERA REVIEW

By | March 3rd, 2017|BLOG|

I told you back in January that we bought Finn a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 instant film camera for his birthday. A couple of people have asked about it and I thought I'd write a review of the camera. Finn LOVES it. That might as well be where the review ends, but for [...]

GROWTH CHART RULER DIY

By | February 25th, 2017|BLOG|

This adorable growth chart ruler is from Little Acorns on Etsy. It's a little tradition we're starting. There was a door jam at Robbie's grandma's house on Cape Cod that had pen marks all the way up it, showing how tall her grand kids were at different ages. She'd kept that part [...]

FOLLAIN

By | February 17th, 2017|BLOG|

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 [...]

FOUR HOUR SPAGHETTI SAUCE

By | February 14th, 2017|BLOG|

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 [...]

THE WEEKEND

By | February 12th, 2017|BLOG|

Everyone has been sick this week except for me. But I have been tired and slightly grouchy most of the week. probably because I've 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 [...]

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

By | February 9th, 2017|BLOG|

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

By | February 5th, 2017|BLOG|

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

By | January 28th, 2017|BLOG|

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 [...]

CAMPING THEMED PARTY

By | January 28th, 2017|GAZETTE|

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

By | January 23rd, 2017|BLOG|

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

By | January 7th, 2017|BLOG|

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

By | December 29th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | December 22nd, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | December 18th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | December 16th, 2016|GAZETTE|

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

By | December 15th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | December 11th, 2016|GAZETTE|

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

By | December 9th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | December 6th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | November 29th, 2016|GAZETTE|

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

By | November 24th, 2016|GAZETTE|

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

By | November 17th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | November 14th, 2016|GAZETTE|

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

By | November 6th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | November 1st, 2016|GAZETTE|

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

By | October 23rd, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | October 22nd, 2016|GAZETTE|

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

By | October 20th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | October 20th, 2016|GAZETTE|

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

By | October 14th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | October 10th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | October 8th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | October 1st, 2016|GAZETTE|

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)

By | September 30th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | September 28th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | September 18th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | September 9th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | September 4th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | September 1st, 2016|BLOG|

➕ 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

By | August 25th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | August 18th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | August 16th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | August 16th, 2016|GAZETTE|

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

By | August 7th, 2016|BLOG|

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

By | August 3rd, 2016|GAZETTE|

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 [...]