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.

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 [...]

FOUND + FORAGED

By | November 25th, 2015|BLOG, 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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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|BLOG, 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 the inappropriate stuff. These boys are the cutest together. [...]

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. [...]

REVIEW: NATURAL HAND SANITIZER

By | August 10th, 2015|BLOG, 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 [...]

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, [...]

BOOK SHELVES FOR FINN’S ROOM

By | July 5th, 2015|BLOG|

So that trip to IKEA a couple of weeks ago produced something positive. Yeah! I'm happy with the RIBBA picture ledges I bought to use as bookshelves. The books add color to the room displayed like this and the shelves seem quite sturdy (nobody has tried to pull them down yet). Here's how they [...]

MAMA’S SKIN

By | June 24th, 2015|BLOG, GAZETTE|

I'm not much of a product girl. I have started using a Clarisonic two to three times a week, but apart from that I don't do a lot. But lately my skin looks tired. It needs something more than I am giving it. For me, the prospect of buying cosmetics is so overwhelming that I [...]

WHAT’S IN YOUR MAKEUP BAG? INTERVIEW WITH KIMBERLY FISHER HORAN

By | June 24th, 2015|KFH|

What’s in your makeup bag? This month has been a big one for makeup changes!  As I’ve recently moved to Manila my favorite Dior Capture Totale Foundation was just too moisturizing. So that will be kept for cooler weather trips. After much testing of foundation (8 at last count), the new winner is Guerlain Lingerie [...]

IKEA STILL SUCKS

By | June 19th, 2015|BLOG|

Project New House is in full swing. Speaking from experience, this nesting bug will last about another two to three weeks. After the buzz wears off, the house will stay looking pretty much the same from that day until we move again.  I'm pretty sure most of my family will be thrilled when I [...]

SHOWING UP

By | June 8th, 2015|BLOG|

When we enrolled Finn in a Montessori school, we loved that community participation was important and that parents were encouraged to be involved. The school sends out a weekly newsletter that I usually skim over, but lately I haven't had the energy to read a label let alone a 15 page newsletter. However, sometimes they [...]

SMOKED BLUEFISH PÂTÉ RECIPE

By | May 25th, 2015|BLOG, GAZETTE|

New England residents are spoiled by an abundance of fresh seafood, so it's no surprise that some of the best seafood restaurants are located here. The Straight Wharf Restaurant on Nantucket is one such restaurant. Their Smoked Bluefish Pâté served with Melba toast and pickled vegetables is a Straight Wharf signature dish worth traveling [...]

A YEAR ON THE FARM

By | May 22nd, 2015|BLOG|

We've lived in this house for almost a year. We're moving into our new house in a little over a week (massive smile while I write that) and I'm starting to take stock again. Moving brings up a lot of emotions, especially now that we have little ones. We'll have done this three times since I [...]

HIPSTER CHILDREN

By | May 5th, 2015|BLOG|

Sometimes I like to dress Finn in a pair of high-tops, an early eighties rock band t-shirt and/or a pair of ray-bans. I know this will label him a hipster child, and for some people it will label him 'bratty'. Finn's wardrobe was pretty much rad like this 24-7 until some ladies at his daycare [...]

DIY BluePrint CLEANSE

By | May 2nd, 2015|BLOG, GAZETTE|

So I did a DIY BluePrint Cleanse. When it comes to rapid weight loss programs, I’ll try anything once. I’ve done the cabbage soup diet, the South Beach Diet, the Master Cleanse; and the very controversial Atkins diet (back in the day when all you could eat was lard). I've had the BluePrint Cleanse in [...]

BOYS’ COLORS

By | April 29th, 2015|BLOG, GAZETTE|

Last night I had a middle of the night, Oprah Aha! moment about decorating the boys' bedrooms. Once I thought of it, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought it all along. The revelation? They need color. I've been thinking monotone for the rest of the house and the boys rooms just kind of came along [...]

BLUE APRON, HELLO FRESH, PLATED… IN THAT ORDER

By | March 9th, 2015|BLOG, GAZETTE|

Blue Apron Tilapia Meunière with Moroccan-Spiced Lentils & Rainbow Chard Life with toddlers is pretty crazy at the best of times. My wing-man is down with a back injury, so things have been especially hectic around here. I decided to try a meal delivery service to take some of the pressure off. No shopping for [...]

WEAVING WITH MARYANNE MOODIE

By | October 23rd, 2014|BLOG|

My blog post San Francisco Guide for Guilty Mamas tried to justify my decision to abandon my husband and children for 48 hours of debauchery with a bunch of girls from Cali. That post kind of highlighted the negatives. It’s true, I did develop a plugged milk duct (as well as a hole in my [...]

SAN FRANCISCO GUIDE FOR GUILTY MAMAS

By | October 20th, 2014|BLOG|

When one of my Cali girlfriends sent out an invite to a girls weekend in San Fransisco, I was pumped. My life for the last three months had been diapers, spit up and sore nipples. For nine months before that I was pregnant. So it had been a year between martinis and I was ready [...]

CEMETERIES, ANTIQUING + FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

By | April 29th, 2014|BLOG|

We are back from our trip to South Carolina and Savannah. This post is about what to do in Savannah. Spanish moss and southern charm - I’m into it in a way I’d never thought I’d be. We visited Bonaventure and Wormsloe, shopped boutiques and antiques and made a point of eating as much southern [...]

WINTER ON CAPE COD

By | January 16th, 2014|BLOG|

We are on Cape Cod in the middle of an actual, real-life winter. No 70 degree winters here, because San Diego is long gone. We are living in Robbie's dad's holiday house in Orleans, Mass. We had our wedding reception here in 2010 and it's just as beautiful covered in snow as I remember it [...]

A FAREWELL TO SAN DIEGO

By | November 2nd, 2013|BLOG|

It’s November and it’s still t-shirt weather in San Diego. We went to the beach today and soaked in the last rays of warm weather. It felt like a kind of farewell to San Diego. We're really starting to feel like we're leaving now. San Diego has been home to Robbie for a dozen years [...]