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.

TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED

By | March 31st, 2016|BLOG|

Before I fell pregnant with Finn, I had no concept of the world of unparalleled opinion and judgement I was about to enter. As a mother you will be judged. And it begins pretty much the minute you announce that you are pregnant. Because when you become pregnant, you suddenly realize that about 10% of [...]

MY AESOP COLLECTION | A REVIEW

By | March 30th, 2016|BLOG|

My Aesop collection is growing every day thanks to the gorgeous Newbury Street signature store being so close and the gifts from the people who know me best.  Aesop's botanicals smell divine and are effective. Which is an increasingly hard to find combination. EYES + FACE I [...]

SOME FOR YOU, SOME FOR ME

By | March 26th, 2016|BLOG|

Bennett has been helping with my belly balm routine since about week 30. "Beh" (Bennett for belly) is one of his favorite words. He'll see me getting out of the shower and say it over and over until I go and get the belly balm. Then he knows I've understood. He sticks his hand into [...]

A WEAVE A WEEK

By | March 23rd, 2016|BLOG|

Meet Baby Alpaca. She is the first wall hanging to be made especially for the Les Petits Gazette Shop. I wrote about my weaving class in San Fransisco on the blog a while back. Since San Fransisco I've made a few weaves and sent them to close friends. I started getting emails and texts from [...]

WINTER IS OVER + SPRING IS HERE

By | March 20th, 2016|BLOG|

The robins and bluejays are back in our yard and my mother in law tells me it means spring is officially here. Winter was short and sweet this year in New England. I'm so happy for the return of warm days because there's fun to be had that can't be had when it's 30 [...]

BIRTH PLAN

By | March 15th, 2016|BLOG|

This is the birth plan I wrote up four years ago. If you don't know what a birth plan is, it's a document that mothers-to-be write up to give their OB, midwife or medical team when they go into labor. It's basically a guide that lays out in detail, how she wants her labor and [...]

BABY BONNETS

By | March 8th, 2016|BLOG|

I'm not embarrassed to admit that I have a little thing for slow living mommy bloggers' pretty Instagram feeds. I love a farmhouse lifestyle where milkmaid apron wearing mamas potter around in their rustic kitchens with their vintage French wooden chopping board collections and horse hair scrubbing brushes and milk-pails full of dried flowers. I [...]

BIRCHER MUESLI

By | March 5th, 2016|BLOG|

Let's hear it for Bircher Muesli. In my twenties I dated a guy who worked in the travel industry. It was one of those relationships that you chalk up to a really important and valuable life lesson because the alternative is admitting you wasted six of your best years with nothing to show for it. [...]

ON NOT HAVING ANY MORE

By | February 29th, 2016|BLOG|

The thing about having babies is that once they start sleeping through the night and you start to feel  like yourself again, your body tricks you into wanting more. Desperately. Wanting. More. We never wanted more than two. When I was 20 I didn't even think I wanted children, so the fact that we made [...]

AESOP BIBLIOTEKSTAN

By | February 20th, 2016|BLOG|

My obsession with Aesop is paralleled perhaps only by my obsession with all things Scandi. I guess then, the synthesis of these two things should be enough to make my head explode. I love every Aesop store I've ever seen, so when Aesop posted a video about their Stockholm store, Bibliotekstan - my head actually [...]

HOME OFFICE UPDATE | BEFORE + AFTER

By | February 16th, 2016|BLOG, HOUSE|

UPDATE: For those who have asked, the rug is from Arhaus but I can't remember the name of it! We've been doing some re-arranging of furniture at our house. Mum is coming from Sydney to stay for a couple of months in March, so we've made the office into a guest bedroom. [...]

THIS IS MY HOSPITAL BAG

By | February 15th, 2016|BLOG|

Months before Finn was born, I had my labor plan written and my hospital bag packed. I was taking birthing classes and listening to hypnobirthing CDs. I bought anything that anyone suggested and ignored anyone who started a sentence with the words, “you really don’t need a…” With Bennett I was a little more relaxed [...]

WEEKEND WINTER WONDERLAND

By | February 8th, 2016|BLOG|

Watching my husband being an awesome dad is about the best part of every weekend for me, but snow weekends take the cake. On those weekends, Robbie is up early carving up sledding trails and building snowmen and carrying my munchkins up the hill like a human ski-lift. And loving every second of it. This [...]

WHEN YOU CAN’T DRINK COUGH SYRUP, DRINK LEMONS, HONEY

By | February 2nd, 2016|BLOG|

When you are pregnant and you get sick, there's not a lot you can take to get you through. And when you already have kids, there's no such thing as a sick day. Staying in bed with friend-bought chicken noodle soup and back-to-back Bravo network shows is not an option (I totally would do that [...]

TREES, SLEDS & TOUCHING TONGUES WITH GIRLS

By | January 18th, 2016|BLOG|

These trees had me at hello. The day we walked into this house, having just decided in the car on the way over that it was over our budget, I walked into the kitchen, looked out the window and saw these trees. I saw the swing and the little bench and that was that. I [...]

THREE THINGS

By | January 17th, 2016|BLOG|

1. Dear New England: it's the middle of January, you can pack away your window candles and fairy-light lawn deer now. 2. Like Finn at his age, Bennett has become obsessed with The Wiggles (circa 1992). It hurts my head. But when he does the actions to "Rock-a-bye Your Bear" it hurts my heart. 3. [...]

THE NORDIC EXPERIMENT

By | January 10th, 2016|BLOG|

I have a not-so-secret desire to live in a Scandi country. When I reviewed foreign films, my favorites were from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. I dig the way those people live (and raise their kids). The boys' names list for every baby we've had or are about to have is heavy on the Scandi names, [...]

LESSONS IN HOLIDAY PLANNING

By | January 4th, 2016|BLOG|

Maybe I'm being precious, but being pregnant at Christmastime with an almost 4 year old and a sick 18 month old was kind of a challenge. Finn is at an age where he's still all about himself and the presents under the tree that have his name on them. I'm hoping next year he'll be [...]

PLANTING THE CHRISTMAS TREE

By | December 30th, 2015|BLOG|

Robbie's grandmother had a tradition of buying Christmas trees in pots and then planting in the ground after the holidays. In winter her property on Cape Cod was a wonderland of Douglas Firs and Blue Spruces covered in snow. You can see some of them in this post about our winter on Cape Cod. [...]

EARTH MEN

By | December 22nd, 2015|BLOG|

On Sunday we decided to go get burgers and shakes at Five Guys. The boys were dressed and ready, so was Robbie. I was lagging, so Robbie decided to get out the hedge-trimmer and cut back some brambles down the back of the yard. Because that's what you do ten minutes before you are leaving [...]

WINTER CONCERT

By | December 18th, 2015|BLOG|

The end of year winter concert at Finn's school was today. Robbie took the morning off to come, which was awesome. Finn's class was last to arrive in the hall and when he sat down he silently mouthed a big excited "HELLO!" to everyone in the audience (because obviously everyone was there to see him). [...]

EAT YOUR FRAGRANCES

By | December 11th, 2015|BLOG|

To Bennett, the spice drawer is a crazy adventure. He carefully takes the lid off each spice jar, smells it and says, "Ooooooh-woowwww!" like every one of them is the most amazing smell in the world. And he’s a toddler, so maybe it is. Finn and I used to play this game when he was about [...]

ULTRASOUNDS + DIM SUM

By | November 28th, 2015|BLOG|

My OB said that if Robbie wanted to come to any of the ultrasounds this pregnancy, yesterday would be the day. It was the 18 to 20 week fetal morphology or "anomaly" scan. That doesn't sound scary AT ALL does it? It's the most in-depth (routine) ultrasound of the whole nine months. I had a [...]

FOUND + FORAGED

By | November 25th, 2015|GAZETTE|

We are hosting Thanksgiving for Robbie's parents this year. Which is manageable because Robbie can somehow get a turkey plus sides on the table in under three hours and largely unassisted. He does well with sweet potato, green beans, corn, chestnuts and cranberries. I'm Australian and we don't do Thanksgiving, so I leave it to [...]

WORDS TO LIVE BY

By | November 16th, 2015|BLOG|

My very first Political Theory lecture stands out as a life changing moment for me. I remember I got to the lecture hall early. I had no idea whether or not politics was the right choice for me, I just knew I didn't like the way the world was being run. But sitting in that [...]

THE LITTLE LEAGUES

By | November 7th, 2015|BLOG|

Autumn little league soccer. Cold Saturday mornings with these two. Finn in his over-sized soccer shirt and Bennett bundled up ready to cheer on his big brother from the sidelines. Or eat acorn shells and dig some dirt - whatevs. Today was magic. Every day that Robbie is home is pretty awesome, but Saturday is [...]

WE’RE ALL ABOUT THAT BASS

By | November 2nd, 2015|BLOG|

When Finn broke into song one day after watching the movie 'Despicable Me', we thought it was adorable until we heard the lyrics he was singing. "You got women, you got women on your mind... have a drink, have a drive, go out and see what you can find... if her daddy's rich take her [...]

HALLOWEEN PARADE

By | October 29th, 2015|BLOG|

Meet Spidey. You might recognize him from such blog posts as Spidey Greetings. After buying him a fireman hat, jacket and boots, Finn decided to stay true to his roots and go with last year's costume. Today was the Halloween parade at Finn's school. He was sick last night so he slept in our bed [...]

I HEART ABC HOME | NYC

By | October 26th, 2015|BLOG|

I just got back from a weekend in Manhattan. My friend was in from London for work and Robbie and I have an understanding about seeing friends when they're in town. He looks after the boys while I go away and I look after them when he has boys trips in Cali. It's all about [...]

FOURTEEN WEEKS, THREE DAYS

By | October 23rd, 2015|BLOG|

You're probably not desperate to know why I've been a little MIA over the past three months, but I'm going to tell you anyway. I've had... MORNING SICKNESS!! We're pregnant again! Because stopping at two kids is so 2014 don't you think? And before you ask - yes, we are very happy to be having [...]

THE KARAOKE MACHINE

By | October 12th, 2015|BLOG|

When Robbie brought this karaoke machine home from the toy store he was pretty proud of it. I like wooden, organic toys that make me appear earth-motherish. The ones that look good in the background of Instagram pictures but that toddlers find completely boring. So the bright orange plastic karaoke machine stressed me out. Because [...]

THE WEEKEND

By | September 30th, 2015|BLOG|

Here's the Apple Picking Blog Post. You knew it was coming. On Sunday we drove half an hour south to a local orchard to pick fresh, crunchy, scrum-diddly-umptious McIntosh and Cortland apples. Finn ate two massive apples in an hour and didn't have a lot of room for apple cider donuts. That didn't stop him [...]

CHERRY TREES

By | September 17th, 2015|BLOG|

This last couple of weeks has been busy with Labor Day weekend, our 5th wedding anniversary (yay for love) and Robbie's birthday. My resolve to post every three days wanes somewhat when there are opportunities to party every second night. And by party I mean get a babysitter and stay out past 9pm. Since having [...]

APPY BIRZDAY

By | September 13th, 2015|BLOG|

Every year on my birthday, at about 6am, my dad calls to wish me a happy birthday. Except that he says "Appy Birzday" because he has a thick Croatian accent.  I never noticed his accent growing up, because I was born listening to it, but my school friends couldn't understand a word he was saying. [...]

ADORABLE IPAD APPS FOR TODDLERS

By | September 3rd, 2015|GAZETTE|

Like so many parents of toddlers, Robbie and I have a complicated relationship with the iPad. Finn would happily play it all day if given the choice. Even with advice from pediatric associations that limited use of learning apps can be beneficial, our gut feeling is that any more than very limited use is not [...]

IL DUCE

By | August 29th, 2015|BLOG|

Yesterday Finn introduced Bennett to the electrician as "my brother, Benito Mussolini." I'm blaming Robbie. We both have nicknames for Bennett, but Benito Mussolini is one of his. I hope all of you parents of babies realize that pretty soon they will repeat everything, especially if it's inappropriate. Finn definitely needs to stop referring to [...]

DON’T INCLUDE ME IN YOUR THROWBACK THURSDAY

By | August 20th, 2015|BLOG|

After a couple of years at a very strict private Catholic girls’ school where uniform inspections were homeroom ritual, I transferred to a far more relaxed public school and spent the next few years of my life trying desperately to look as grungy as possible - a mission my mother worked tirelessly to sabotage. I [...]

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES

By | August 17th, 2015|BLOG|

I should have known it would happen. I should have recalled the half dozen times I cut Finn's hair in his first two years and he went from being my little baby to practically ready to leave for college in three and a half minutes. Bennett's hair was getting in his eyes and I have [...]

AMBULANCE RIDES

By | August 14th, 2015|BLOG|

Bennett, Finn and I had another ambulance ride on Tuesday, our third since we moved to the south shore. Bennett had a febrile seizure, which trumped any experience so far as the scariest moment in my life as a mother. He was diagnosed with strep on Wednesday so it looks like this fever was not [...]

REVIEW: NATURAL HAND SANITIZER

By | August 10th, 2015|GAZETTE|

Last week I discovered Aēsop's travel sized Resurrection Rinse-free Hand Wash. I love the Resurrection line (mandarin rind, rosemary leaf, cedar atlas) so I bought it, bringing my hand sanitizer collection to 7926 bottles. I don't even use hand sanitizer on my own hands. But I do use it on the boys hands after the [...]

HIPSTER CHILDREN ROCK. SO DOES THIS.

By | August 7th, 2015|BLOG|

#FBF - Tiffany Beveridge's pinterest board titled "My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter" is the best. It totally makes fun of parents of hipster children. The ones who dress their kids in plaid and pearls, ripped jeans and military jackets. All the stuff I think is adorable on toddlers. Tiffany's imaginary daughter, Quinoa and her friends [...]

BLUEBERRY PICKING: PART TWO (A TALE OF TWO MORNINGS)

By | August 5th, 2015|BLOG|

After blueberry picking on Sunday, Finn and I were excited to make blueberry pie. We had visitors on Monday so we didn't get time to make it, which worked out pretty well because on Tuesday this was happening at our place... And storm weather is perfect for baking. So we made our pie. We [...]

BLUEBERRY PICKING: PART ONE

By | August 3rd, 2015|BLOG|

The year Robbie and I met, he took me to his mom's place in Massachusetts and showed me around the neighborhood, pointing out landmarks and places where major life events happened. You know, the broken collar bone, falling out a window, first kiss... the important stuff. As kids, he and his brother and sisters would [...]

DO NOT EAT

By | July 31st, 2015|BLOG|

This is Bennett. Today he pulled aaaaalll the wipes out of the wipes warmer placing them in a neat pile behind him. His other tricks include unraveling toilet paper, squeezing toothpaste out of the tube, and re-programming the printer. He works quickly and efficiently I have found, a trait that I hope carries forward to [...]

MY HUSBAND, THE PUPPETEER

By | July 27th, 2015|BLOG|

Robbie interviewed for a job on Thursday. It went well. He has almost recovered from back surgery so I knew he'd be going back to work soon, but it's been so nice having him home with us. Robbie is a really fun dad - it's one of the things that got me when we were [...]

GLOSSYBOX REVIEW

By | July 25th, 2015|GAZETTE|

As fun as they are, the little red and white Sample Society boxes from Allure have been outdone by the marketing department at GLOSSYBOX.  PS: pink always wins. I tried the June and July editions of GLOSSYBOX and they converted me. Here's the lowdown... Cost: $21 a month for the standard box Value: Claims to [...]

THE OYSTER ROOM

By | July 22nd, 2015|BLOG|

Of all the rooms in our new house, the dining room has been the trickiest to design. It's a small room and it had a huge, shiny, gold chandelier in the middle of it which, despite being a huge, shiny, gold chandelier, fit the space pretty well. It's just that I didn't want a huge, [...]

#toughsummer

By | July 19th, 2015|BLOG|

Days like today make all my complaining about how tough life has been lately seem pretty silly. A little ungrateful even. We've had a lot going on. Moving and dealing with Rob's back injury, our four day hospital stay with Bennett - and just being parents to a toddler and a baby is hard work. [...]

ALLURE SAMPLE SOCIETY REVIEW

By | July 16th, 2015|GAZETTE|

Discovering recently that I am not 20 years old (believe me I was as shocked as you are) I have developed a sudden and urgent interest in make up and skin care. I'm using my Clarisonic every two to three days and I have to say I am noticing my skin is much brighter.  Last [...]

WHEN YOUR BABY IS SICK

By | July 13th, 2015|BLOG|

In case you haven't heard me say it a thousand times, this year has been tough for us Thompsons. Robbie's back surgery was the big black X on the calendar that marked the end of tough times. A few weeks after the surgery Robbie could walk without having to use a cane (thank God because [...]